“We will not give up and we will not lose.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has appealed to the UK to continue its support in a historic address.
Speaking to the House of Commons via video-link from his base in Kyiv, he recounted the first 13 days of the Russian invasion, explaining what the people of Ukraine have experienced so far.
“I would like to tell you about the 13 days of war, the war that we didn’t start and we didn’t want,” he said.
“However we have to conduct this war, we do not want to lose what we have, what is ours, our country Ukraine…
“Just the same way you once didn’t want to lose your country when the Nazis started to fight your country and you had to fight for Britain.”
Zelenskyy said “over 50 children” had been killed in the violence, before promising that Ukraine would “fight to the end”.
“We will not give up and we will not lose,” he said. “We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost. We will fight in the forests, the fields, the shores and in the streets.
“We will fight on the banks of the rivers and we are looking for your help… and for the help of civilised countries.”
He went on to reference the famous line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, saying that in response to the question on whether Ukraine would choose “to be or not to be”, it had chosen “to be”.
He then asked the UK for more support, while reiterating his earlier request for the UK’s help to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
Zelenskyy was given a standing ovation and a round of applause by MPs.
Following the address, Boris Johnson said:
“Never before in all our centuries of our parliamentary democracy has the House listened to such an address.
“In a great European capital now within range of Russian guns president Volodymyr Zelensky is standing firm for democracy and for freedom.”
Tomorrow marks two weeks since Russia launched its “full scale invasion” on Ukraine. The United Nations has recorded 406 deaths so far, and thousands have fled the country to find safety.
Roughly 2,200 Ukrainian Refugees have arrived in Ireland since the violence began, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.