President Zelenskyy Receives Huge Standing Ovation Addressing MPs In House Of Commons
| Last updated
The President of Ukraine made a 'historic address' to British MPs in the House of Commons today (8 March).
Met with a standing ovation from Parliament, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recalled the past thirteen days of war. Take a look below:
He began: “I am addressing you as a citizen, as a president of a big country with a dream and big effort. I would like to tell you about the thirteen days of war - of the war that we didn’t start.
“We do not want to lose what we have, what is ours, our country Ukraine. Just the same way as you once didn’t want to lose your country when Nazis started to fight your country.”
The President went on to discuss the thirteen days of turmoil his country has faced – detailing the hospitals that had been targeted, the atomic power station being taken over, and the loss of civilian life.
“That didn’t break us,” he said, “And that gave us feeling of big truth.
“Ukrainians became heroes.”
He continued: “We will not give up and we will not loose. We will fight to the end at sea and in the air. We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost. We will fight in the forests, in the fields, in the streets.”
“We are thankful for this help and I am very grateful to you Boris, please increase pressure of sanctions against this country and please recognise this country as a terrorist state.”
Zelenskyy finished his speech by asking: “Please make sure you do what needs to be done, and what is stipulated by the greatness of your country.
“Best of all to Ukraine and the United Kingdom.”
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle granted Zelenskyy the request to read out his statement in the Commons, describing the speech as an ‘important opportunity’.
He said: "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 the House.
"Thanks again to our incredible staff for working at pace to make this historic address possible."
It is incredibly rare for a foreign politician’s speech to be broadcast in the Commons, as such an event would usually take place outside of the Commons chamber, in a space like Westminster Hall.
Nevertheless, a number of screens were installed in the Commons chamber overnight, alongside 500 headsets for MPs to hear the English translation of the President’s speech.
In a bold video shot from his Bankova Street office, the Ukrainian leader said he will stay for 'as long as necessary' and that his team is by his side.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.