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06th Apr 2022

Volodymyr Zelensky grateful to “every citizen of Ireland” in powerful address to the Dáil

“I’m grateful to you, to every citizen of Ireland.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was grateful to “every citizen of Ireland” in a powerful address to a joint sitting of the Oireachtas on Wednesday morning.

Zelensky thanked the Irish public for the support for Ukraine since its invasion by Russia, saying: “People of Ireland, since the very first days, you are are supporting good, you are supporting Ukraine.

“You did not doubt [in] starting helping us. You began this right away.

“Although, you are a neutral country, you have not remained neutral to the disaster and to the mishaps that Russia has brought Ukraine.

“I’m grateful to you, to every citizen of Ireland.”

Zelensky began his address by providing an account of what is happening in Ukraine currently, stating that Russia is “destroying things that are sustaining livelihoods”.

“They’re hitting places where we store fuel, food storage deposits, agricultural equipment and fields,” he said.

“They are putting mines into the fields.”

“They are bombing 24/7, airstrikes in Mariupol.

“There is no single house left intact in a half a million city.

“The dead and killed were simply buried in the yards of the condominiums and in many cases they couldn’t even do that.

“The bodies were just left there lying on the streets in the remnants of the buildings and the basements.”

Zelensky told the Oireachtas that Russia has targeted ambulances and churches, as well as shelters that it knew contained women and children.

He also said that in the 42 days since the war, at least 167 children have been killed in Ukraine but that he does not know yet the full scale of the atrocities.

Zelensky then thanked Ireland for supporting sanctions against Russia, for its humanitarian and financial support to Ukraine and for providing shelter to Ukrainians who fled the war.

“Please, I would like to ask you to show more leadership in our anti-war coalition,” he added.

“I would like to ask you to convince EU partners to introduce even more rigid sanctions against Russia that would really make sure that the Russian war machine stop.

“I’m sure that your leadership can make a difference,” Zelensky also said, with his speech receiving a standing ovation by those present in Oireachtas.