KYIV (Reuters) - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch in the Ukrainian capital in what Kyiv said on Monday was a "very important signal" of support at a time when global media attention has shifted from the war in Ukraine.
Media titan Rupert Murdoch's eldest son is a leading figure in media with a U.S. Republican-leaning audience. His visit comes as concern in Ukraine mounts over the future of vital American military and economic aid with the war with Russia showing no end in sight.
A U.S. presidential election next November could bring the return of Republican Donald Trump, who has been sharply critical of support for Ukraine. There is increasing division over aid for Kyiv in the U.S. Congress.
"The Head of State (Zelenskiy) thanked Lachlan Murdoch for his visit and emphasized that it is a very important signal of support at the time when the world's attention is blurred by other events," the president's office wrote on its website.
His remark appeared to be a reference to Israel's war in Gaza which has dominated headlines for more than a month and significantly diverted global media attention from the war in Ukraine, which is nearing the 21-month mark this week.
Zelenskiy said it was vital to keep the world's attention focused on the war in Ukraine.
"For us, for our warriors, this is not a movie. These are our lives. This is daily hard work. And it will not be over as quickly as we would like, but we have no right to give up and we will not," he was quoted as saying by his office.
Zelenskiy said Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall, who was badly wounded covering the war in Ukraine last year, and The Sun journalist Jerome Starkey were also invited to the meeting with Murdoch.
Hall was part of a group of Fox News journalists who came under Russian fire in spring 2022. Cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian fixer Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed.
The Ukrainian statement said Zelenskiy awarded the Order of Merit to Hall who was shown standing on a prosthetic limb shaking Zelenskiy's hand.
Lachlan Murdoch was named the sole chairman of News Corp and will continue as the chair and chief executive of Fox Corp, the companies said in September, settling for now the issue of succession in one of the world’s most powerful media empires.
(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; editing by Jonathan Oatis)