The war-time leader was appearing at a news briefing alongside UK prime minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday, at an army base in the south west of England, as Zelenskyy made an historic visit to Britain.
One of the questions came from a reporter from the BBC’s Ukraine service, who made an unlikely request given the security restraints the president faces.
“Greetings Mr President, I would really like to hug you, but I’m not allowed,” the correspondent said to Zelenskyy in Ukrainian.
“Why not? Please, do give me a hug,” the Ukrainian leader responded, stepping off the podium to embrace her as others applauded.
He went on to joke that he needs better security.
The reporter went on to direct her question at Sunak, asking him whether the UK was doing enough to crackdown on London remaining a city that is laundering Russian money.
On Wednesday, Zelenskyy continued to pressure Western leaders to give him fighter jets – or what he described as “wings for freedom”. At the news event in Dorset, Sunak insisted “nothing is off the table” when it comes to support for Ukraine.