Ukraine war: Zelenskyy echoes WWII leader Winston Churchill during speech to UK MPs

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By Euronews
krainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the nation in Kyiv on Monday, 7 March 2022
krainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the nation in Kyiv on Monday, 7 March 2022   -   Copyright  Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy echoed Britain's World War II leader Winston Churchill as he addressed British MPs about Russia's invasion of his country. 

"We shall go on to the end," Zelenskyy vowed, evoking Churchill's famous "never surrender" speech on 4 June 1940.

“We will fight till the end at sea, in the air. We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost,” said Zelenskyy. “We will fight in the forests, in the fields, on the shores, in the streets” and even on the banks of rivers.

Churchill's speech vowed to fight Nazi troops “on the beaches .. on the landing grounds ... in the fields and in the streets".

Speaking by video from Ukraine to a packed House of Commons chamber, Zelenskyy urged Britain to increase sanctions on Russia and to recognise Russia as “a terrorist country”.

MPs responded with a standing ovation.

A speech in the House of Commons by a foreign leader is a rare occurrence. Zelenskyy requested to read a statement to the House of Commons, and it was widely expected that the Ukrainian leader would again call for a no-fly zone over the country.

NATO ministers and Western leaders alike have refused the request due to concerns that the Kremlin might see its implementation as an act of war.

Zelenskyy's address took place on the 13th day of the war in Ukraine, amid claims that the Russian army went back on its assurances of a ceasefire once again, shelling the humanitarian corridor in Mariupol.

Meanwhile, the British government has been criticised for its failure to accept a more significant number of refugees from Ukraine, with only 50 visas issued to those fleeing the war and the Russian invasion by Sunday.

"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," Hoyle said while announcing the speech on Tuesday.

Watch President Zelenskyy's address to the UK House of Commons in the player above.