Ukrainian President Zelensky receives a warm welcome and calls for more support in a video address to the British Parliament
I hesitated to refrain a line from a speech agitation by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II.
“The question for us now is to be or not to be,” said Zelensky, evoking Shakespeare. “I can give you a definitive answer: It certainly will be.”
After Zelensky’s speech, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated that British humanitarian aid, military support and sanctions against Russia would continue “until Ukraine is liberated.” He did not address Zelensky’s repeated calls for a NATO-administered no-fly zone, which Western countries have rejected as a move that could escalate into a larger confrontation with Russia.
In his previous speeches to Western leaders, Zelensky has used a similarly emotional and defiant tone. When he spoke to US lawmakers last week via Zoom, he told politicians it might be the last time they saw him alive.
“It has been 13 days since we heard promises, 13 days we were told that we would help fly, that there would be planes, that they would be delivered to us,” Zelensky said on Tuesday in a video posted. on Telegram. He noted that “those who did not secure the Ukrainian airspace from the Russian killers” bear some responsibility for the resulting massacre.
when Ukrainian activist Johnson on March 1 appealed for support of a no-fly zone, and the British leader said: “Unfortunately, the implication of that is that the UK will be involved in shooting down Russian planes, and engage in direct combat with Russia. It’s not something we can do.”
As of Tuesday, the United Nations He said that about 2 million civilians have fled Ukraine and that 474 have been confirmed killed and 861 injured, although she said the actual number of casualties is undoubtedly “much higher. “
The video of Zelensky, in an olive green military shirt, was shown on large screens set up in Parliament for British lawmakers, who wore headphones to listen to an interpreter.
Lindsey Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said before the speech that it would be “historic” and that “every parliamentarian wants to hear directly from the president, who will be speaking to us live from Ukraine, so this is an important opportunity for home.”
Zelensky Addressed US legislators On Saturday, he made a direct appeal for additional military aid, including by helping him secure more Soviet-era fighter jets to counter Russian air strikes.
During the Zoom call attended by more than 280 members of the Senate and House of Representatives, Zelensky described an “urgent need” for more military support and humanitarian aid, as well as a global embargo on the purchase of Russian oil, according to the people in the call who spoke on condition of anonymity. their identity because the meeting was private.
In a speech this month to the European Parliament, Zelensky described how Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, was battered. English translator for the president briefly choked up during the statements.
Last week, Zelensky to thank Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, “for their courageous opposition to the Russian invasion” after the couple made a rare foray into politics by… Twitter They “stand with the president and all the people of Ukraine as they fight bravely.”
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Tuesday that the Russian invasion of Ukraine would not go as planned and that the Russian military was causing heavy casualties.
“It’s not going well for the Russians,” Wallace said Tell British Sky News. “It’s day 13, off their schedule.”
“Probably the biggest single casualty so far has been the Russian military, who have been let down by the appalling leadership and horrific plans,” he added.
Wallace also said a 40-mile convoy of Russian military vehicles Heading from the north on a road towards Kyiv is “still stuck” outside the Ukrainian capital. US officials attribute the apparent decline in part to logistical failures on the Russian side. They also credit Ukrainian efforts to attack parts of the convoy for their slowdown. But they warn that the Russians could regroup at any moment and move on.
“We can see that the Russians are having real logistical problems, and this is affecting morale. They are not passing through, they are getting desperate,” Wallace added. “Russia has built a trap for itself.”
Wallace also said Britain was “increasing our support for both lethal and non-lethal aid to Ukraine”, and that it would provide military support to neighboring Poland, a fellow NATO member, if London decided to provide Ukraine with fighter jets.
“I will support the Poles and whatever choice they make,” Wallace said, but noted that Britain could not provide aircraft that the Ukrainians could use. “Poland will realize that the choices they make will not only help Ukraine directly, which is a good thing, but may also put them in the direct line of fire from countries like Russia or Belarus.”
Wallace said he expected Zelensky’s speech on Tuesday to be “unbelievably powerful” and called Ukraine’s president a “wonderful man.”