On 9 February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the special plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels. In his speech, he said that Russia wants to destroy the Ukrainian European way of life, and return Europe to the xenophobia of the 1930s and 1940s. He stressed that Europe, including Ukraine, was defending itself against the biggest anti-European force of the modern world.
The speech was delivered in Ukrainian. Here we publish the key parts of Zelenskyy’s speech in English according to its translated version published on the President’s website (emphases are added by Euromaidan Press).
[quote]”All of us, Europeans, each and every one of the hundreds of millions of people on our continent, combine these two statuses – representatives of Europe and leaders of Europe. This combination reflects what our Europe, a modern Europe, a peaceful Europe, gives to the world. European way of life. European path of life. European manner of life. European rules of life.”[/quote]
“There is an attempt to destroy the Ukrainian European way of life by all-out war. But what for? For the destruction of the European way of life as such after the Ukrainian European way of life is destroyed. For each of all twenty-seven elements of the European way of life. The twenty-seven countries of the European Union. We will not allow that.
This total war that has been unleashed by Russia is not just about territory in one part of Europe or another. […] In order to be able to wage this war, the Kremlin has been consistently destroying, step by step, year after year, what we see as the basis of our Europe.
The sacred value of human life has been completely destroyed in Russia as well. No one matters to the authorities there, except those inside the Kremlin walls, their relatives, and their wallets. For them, for the Kremlin, all others, all one hundred and forty million citizens are just bodies capable of carrying weapons… The rule of violence and obedience are the rules there instead of law.
The Russian regime not only hates everything, any sociality and any diversity, but also deliberately invests in xenophobia and tries to make all the inhuman things that happened in the 1930s and 1940s part of the norm on our continent.”
[quote]”Europe! We are defending ourselves against the most anti-European force in the modern world. We are defending ourselves. We, Ukrainians, are on the battlefield with you. I thank you for the fact that we are defending ourselves together![/quote]
“I want to thank you – everyone who has helped our people, our ordinary people, our displaced persons. Those who called on their leaders to increase support for the protection of these ordinary people. Who took to the streets, who asked questions, who spread the truth about Russian aggression. Who refrained from the temptations of Russian disinformation and who stand with us in the fight for life. In the fight for Europe. I thank you! I thank everyone who is helping Ukraine with vital supplies. Weapons and ammunition. Energy equipment and fuel. Thousands of things that are essential to survive this all-out war.”
[quote]”Europe is finally freeing itself from destructive dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Europe is cleaning itself of the corrupt influence of Russian oligarchic business. Europe is defending itself against the infiltration of agents of the Russian special services, who have even considered Europe as a place to hunt for opponents of the Russian dictatorship already.”[/quote]
“For the first time in its history, the European Union is providing military assistance of such magnitude. And for the first time in history, I believe, it is preparing a positive assessment of internal reforms in a European country that is defending itself in this all-out war and at the same time – while fighting – modernizing its institutions.”
[quote]Europe will always remain free. As long as we are together and as long as we care about our Europe![/quote]