Zelensky Given Standing Ovation as He Addresses European Parliament

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was given a standing ovation as he addressed the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday, February 9.

Zelensky made the speech to the parliament after visiting London and Paris. Credit: European Parliament via Storyful

Video Transcript


INTERPRETER: Glory to Ukraine.

Dear Mrs. President, Dear Roberta, I thank you for these powerful words, and I thank you for your personal attention, very important attention to Ukraine. Thank you for your principled and energetic approach, two qualities that we see unchanged during this struggle for Europe.

And the combination of those is a precondition for progress. Europe is lucky that in this plenary hall in the biggest parliament of Europe, in the European Parliament, a principled approach and energized approach have an absolute majority-- enjoy an absolute majority. Thank you.

Dear representatives of Europe, dear leaders of Europe, all of us Europeans, each and every-- hundreds of millions of people in our continent combine these two statuses. Representatives of Europe and leaders of Europe, this combination reflects what our Europe, modern Europe, peaceful Europe gives to the world, European way of life, European life standard, European rules of life.

When each and every one have-- matter, when the law rules-- the rule of law, when states strive to be social and societies strive to be open, when diversity is a value and the values of different people are united by fair equality. When borders are not violated but when you don't feel that you cross borders. When people trust and have faith in tomorrow and are ready to go to squares to fight for their tomorrow-- between protesters and the president, there's only one barrier, and that is honest elections.

This is our Europe. These are our rules. This is our way of life. And for Ukraine, it's a way home-- a way to its home.

Now I am here in order to defend our people's way home, of all Ukrainians, of all ages and various political convictions, of various social status, of various religious convictions and different histories, but all of us enjoy this common European history.

The Ukrainian European way of life, they tried to annihilate it through total war after-- why? Because after the European-- Ukrainian European way of life, they want to destroy the European way as such out of all 27 elements of the European way of life of 27 countries of the European Union. We will not allow that.

This total war now that was waged by Russia is not only for the territory-- for a territory in this or that part of Europe. The threat of it is that there is a dictator with massive supplies and reserves of Soviet weapons and weapons from dictatorial regimes, Iran in particular. In order to be able to fight like this, the Kremlin cynically and deliberately year after year, step after step was trying to eliminate and destroy what we see as our value in Europe. The value of human lives has been destroyed in Russia. For the authorities there, nobody is of value apart from those who are in the Kremlin and have their own wallets at heart.

140 million of Russian citizens for the leaders of Russia are just bodies that are capable of carrying weapons to Russia, the weapons that would be on the battlefield and to keep everybody in obedience so they could become the supremacy of violence and obedience. These are the rules instead of law there.

The Russian regime not only hates any social justice and diversity, they invest in xenophobia and are trying to make it part of normality on our continent and trying to make the inhumane realities of the '30s and the '40s of the 20th century a reality of today. But this is-- the answer to that for us is no. No, Europe. We are defending the-- we are defending from the anti-European-- the most anti-European force of the modern world. We are defending ourselves, we Ukrainians, on the battlefield together with you.

And I thank you that we're defending it together, and we must defend ourselves. And it's important not only for the states of Europe, not only for the communities and societies in Europe, no matter who we are and what we are. We always fight against disrespect and neglect. Wherever we live, we always put our faith in integrity for whatever we dream for our children and grandchildren, and the precondition for these dreams is peace and security.

And that is going to be-- and whether it's going to be possible if we do not overcome the anti-European force that is trying to steal from all of us our Europe. No. Only our victory will guarantee all that. Each of our European values, our victory that is going to be-- that should be-- should happen. That would be mandatory.

Dear leaders of Europe, dear President, ladies and gentlemen, dear members of European Parliament, dear workers of the European Parliament here, and other European institutions here-- dear journalists, dear security service workers, dear military and army personnel, policemen, rescue workers, dear workers of municipalities, diplomats, teachers, professors, scientists, dear doctors, drivers, dear workers of seaports, farmers, the industrialists, dear workers at the industrial enterprise, dear business owners, small big, businesses, dear workers at banks, dear energy workers and electricity-grids workers, dear trade-union workers, dear students and representatives of NGOs, dear producers and actors, lawyers, defense lawyers, human-rights defenders, the destiny of Europe, the fate of Europe has never depended on politicians, and that should not be the illusions now. Each and every one of us matter. Each and every one of you are strong. Each and every one of you is capable to impact and influence our common result, our common victory.

And these applause are not directed to me and at me. These applause is actually-- for these applause, I'd like to thank all of you in Europe in hundreds of towns and villages who supported Ukraine in this historic battle. Thank you. Thank you.

I would like to thank you to all of you who has been helping our people, our ordinary citizens, our resettled people here who called on their leaders to increase and enhance their support to protect our ordinary people. Those who were on the squares who were raising questions, who was spreading truth about the Russian aggression, who was not tempted to consume Russia-- the Russian disinformation and who is standing by us in our fight for life for Europe, I thank you.

I thank all of us who help-- all of you who helps Ukraine with vitally important supplies, weapons and ammunition, and energy equipment and fuel, thousands of things and items that would be-- that we wouldn't be able to endure in this total war. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen and members of the European Parliament and to you personally, Roberta, that you with your decisions defend the European way of life without-- steadfastly, that you defend the Ukrainian European way of life.

You approve courageous decisions, and you strengthen the European ambition to be a home for justice and freedom. And I recall the first day of large-scale invasion when the Russian ambition to break us and the entire Europe was still adamant and was still when the Russian aggression was beginning to break their tooth against fighting our defense. On the sixth day of the large-scale invasion, the European Parliament approved the resolution not simply to support our state but to approve this status of the candidate for the European Union membership for our country. That was the vision that motivated us to be strong and to stay the course. Thank you.

Today during the meeting of the council-- European Council, I would be able to thank personally the heads of state and the governments for the decisions that, over the course of the last year, allowed our continent to do what the previous wave of leaders considered impossible. Europe at last is relieving itself of the ruinous dependence on the Russian fossil fuels. Europe is cleansing itself of the corruption influence of the Russian oligarchic business. Europe is defending itself from the infiltration of the agents of Russia's secret services who were looking at Europe as the hunting field for the opposition-- opponents of the Russian regime.

For the first time in its history, the European Union is providing the military assistance at such large scale-- at such scale. And I see such a positive assessment of reforms in the European-- in a European country that is fighting, defending itself, and is modernizing and reforming its institutions at the same time.

We are approaching the European Union. Ukraine is going to be a member of the European Union. Ukraine that is winning is going to be a member of the European Union, the European Union that is winning.

Dear friends, perhaps somebody-- some of you didn't feel earlier the powerful-- the power of the European way of life. And now together Ukraine and the European Union countries have made our strength of this. Why is it possible? Because we combine a principled and energetic approach. We all are equal. We are all equal in representing Europe and integrity. We know that everybody is a leader of Europe in their lives-- in their specific lives.

We do not-- we're not going back in front of the enemy. We are defending ourselves. We're not losing time. We're changing ourselves, and we are changing things. Europe will always be and remain Europe as long as we're together, as long as we take care of our Europe, as we take care of the European way of life.

I thank all of you. I invite all of you to Ukraine. Glory to all Ukrainians who fight, and glory to Ukraine.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY: Thank you so much.

INTERPRETER: Thank you very much.