Ukraine President Zelensky speech to UK Parliament in historic address

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy evoked wartime British leader Winston Churchill on Tuesday as he told the U.K. Parliament that Ukrainians would fight Russian invaders to the end in the country's forests, fields and streets.

Zelenskyy told British lawmakers “we will not give up and we will not lose,” in a speech that evoked the stirring “never surrender” speech delivered by Churchill in 1940 during the darkest days of World War II.

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

Speaking by video from Ukraine and wearing army green, Zelenskyy thanked Britain for its support, which includes humanitarian aid and defensive weapons. He urged the U.K. to increase sanctions on Russia, to recognize Russia as “a terrorist country” and to keep Ukraine’s skies safe. Zelenskyy has pleaded with NATO leaders to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but they have resisted, saying that could lead to a direct military confrontation with Russia.

Describing the destruction of schools and hospitals and the deaths of civilians under Russian bombardment during the two-week conflict, Zelenskyy said Ukraine “didn’t start and didn’t want” the war.

“However we have to conduct this war, we do not want to lose what we have, what is ours, our country Ukraine,” he said.

Zelenskyy evoked another British hero, William Shakespeare, quoting “Hamlet” when he said “the question for us now is ’to be or not to be.”

“I can give you a definitive answer. It’s definitely yes — to be,” he said.

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