During a video conference with the European Parliament, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky once again pleaded for his country’s integration into the EU. He said Europeans must « prove that they are with Ukraine »… « Europe will be much stronger with Ukraine in it (…) Without you, Ukraine will be alone. We have proved our strength, we have shown that we are your equals (…) So prove that you are with us and that you are not going to let us down ».
Six days after the start of the Russian invasion, Ukrainians are preparing to resist an invader. More than 2000 Ukrainian civilians have already died since the beginning of this war. How many Ukrainians will be sacrificed for having defended the values, the rights, the freedom and the equality that Europeans proudly claim?
Text of President Zelensky’s speech: Source: European Parliament – 1 March 2022
Thank you for your words. You know, for a few days, I know more how I will welcome everyone, how to express my greeting. Because I can no longer say good morning, good day or good evening. I cannot say the word ‘good’. This is unfortunately the case. For many people, no day is a good day. It is the last day for many people. And today I talk about my citizens, the citizens of Ukraine, who defend their own country. They are heroes. And they pay the highest price.
I am very happy about what I have seen and heard here today. I am very pleased that this is the case. I feel this mood. I feel we are united. We are all united. All the countries of the European Union stand united. But I did not know that we had to pay such a high price for this unit. It is a tragedy for every Ukrainian, it is a tragedy for our state.
Thousands of people were killed. Two revolutions have taken place, now a war. Five days of the Russian Federation’s major invasion.
You know that I do not read the paper. You know that I speak freely. This is because this phase, where you write on the paper, is at the end of my country. Now we have to deal with the real life, the real battle. And that is not on paper.
I believe that today’s day we are leaving our lives for the values, the rights, to be as free as you want.
We are doing our best. The best, the strongest, the most courageous people die — the Ukrainians, they are incredibly. We say that we will defeat all of them. And I am very happy that you are not only talking about it, but that you can see it. Yes, we will defeat all. And I am sure, I really believe that there is the European election/determination of Ukraine. We are committed to this European election of Ukraine, which is our goal. That is why I would like to hear from you that the Ukrainian elections are a mutual choice for Europe.
There were some tragic events this morning. To cruise missiles have met Kharkiv, the city on the border with the Russian Federation. There are also a large number of Russians living there. They were always very friendly, we had close ties with the Russian-speaking people. More than 20 universities are located in Kharkiw. It is the city with the largest number of universities in our country. Young people are smart, smart, educated and people have met repeatedly to celebrate. And we have the largest place in Kharkiw, the place of freedom. This is the largest place in Europe, the place of freedom.
You can imagine that this morning two cruise missiles met this freedom area and dozens were killed. This is the price we have to pay for freedom. And we are fighting for this freedom of our country.
And despite the fact that all cities in our country are blocked, no one will abandon our freedom. No, every square centimetres of our country, every place of our country, will be called a place of freedom in the future. We are strong, no one will break. We are Ukrainian.
We want our children to be able to live in the future. And that’s a fair desire? 16 children were killed yesterday. President Putin will repeatedly say that it is a type of special operation and that only military facilities would be met and combated. Yes, what are our children? Are our children military facilities? Which tanks do our children drive with? No. He killed 16 children yesterday, 16 people!
We are really motivated, our citizens are motivated. We fight for our rights, we fight for our freedom, we fight for our lives — and now we are also fighting for survival. This is the highest price we have to pay.
But we are also fighting for us to become equal members of Europe. And I hope that today we can also show everyone that we are Europeans. We are the European Union. And the European Union will be much stronger with us. And without you, Ukraine will stand alone. We have now demonstrated our strength. We have proven that we are the same as you.
So you can prove that they are really on our side. Prove that you do not leave us behind. Prove that you are really European. And then life will win through death. And light over darkness. Honour of Ukraine.
Source: European Parliament