'Deep sense of respect and awe': Politicians, Canadians react to Ukraine President Zelenskyy's Parliament address

·3 min read

In a historic moment, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Canadian Parliament, asking Canadians to imagine the horror Ukraine has experienced over the last 20 days.

In Ukrainian, Zelenskyy said this is "an attempt to annihilate Ukrainian people."

"It's actually a war against Ukrainian people," he said.

Zelenskyy also called for more support and to close airspace by instituting a no-fly zone, to stop the bombings as Russia is "destroying everything."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the press as he arrives at the House of Commons on March 15, 2022, in Ottawa, Canada, to attend a virtual address from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the Canadian Parliament. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the press as he arrives at the House of Commons on March 15, 2022, in Ottawa, Canada, to attend a virtual address from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the Canadian Parliament. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Zelenskyy a "friend" and a "champion of democracy," which resulted in resounded applause in the House of Commons.

"Your courage and the courage of your people inspires us all," Trudeau said. "You're defending the right of Ukrainians to choose their own future and in doing so, you’re defending the values that form the pillars of all free democratic countries."

"Beyond that, you’re inspiring democracies and democratic leaders around the world to be more courageous, more united and to fight harder for what we believe in. You remind us that friends are always stronger together."

The prime minister announced that with European allies, sanctions are being imposed on 15 additional Russia officials, including government and military elites who are "complicit in this illegal war."

"Ukrainians are already paying incalculable human costs," Trudeau said. "This illegal and unnecessary war is a grave mistake. Putin must stop it now."

"Ukrainians are standing up to authoritarianism and as parliamentarians united in this House today, and all Canadians, we stand with you. As friends, you can count on our unwavering and stedfast support."

Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen called Vladimir Putin a "war monger" and a "violent predator."

"Every day he tells the world lies and then he proceeds to kill innocent and vulnerable Ukrainians,… and while on his rampage he continues to threaten the world, saying if he doesn’t get his way he will use the worst extremes possible," Bergen said. "It’s sickening to watch. Putin must be brought to justice."

"We must do more, together with our allies to secure Ukraine's airspace. We need to protect, at a minimum, the airspace over the humanitarian corridors so that Ukrainians can seek safe passage away from the war zones and to allow humanitarian relief to reach those areas under siege."

Several Canadians took to social media to reflect and respond on Tuesday's historic address.

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