Veteran US director Francis Ford Coppola has said the war in Ukraine could be ended if someone told Vladimir Putin to "stop, and meant it."

The Oscar-winning director of The Godfather said the Russian president was "not a deranged person" as he remarked on the "absurd reality" of the ongoing conflict.

Coppola made the remarks while onstage to accept the Publicists Guild lifetime achievement award.

"My heart is so full of love for Ukrainian-Americans," he told audience members.

"It breaks my heart in this absurd reality of this world today and I can’t not speak about that.

He continued: "I confess I met Putin and I met (Ukrainian president) Zelensky, who is really a showbusiness guy.

"I know of what I speak when I say, if one word would just be said with the force of meaning – stop – it would stop.

"Putin is not an insane deranged person, he’s a calculating person and if someone said ‘stop’ and meant it, he would stop."

Coppola won the Academy Award for best picture in 1973 for his gangster classic The Godfather, the making of which has been made into a TV series – The Offer, starring Miles Teller and Juno Temple.