14:51 07.06.2024

Battle for Ukraine has the same existential significance for Europe as battles won by previous generations of Europeans – Zelenskyy

6 min read
Battle for Ukraine has the same existential significance for Europe as battles won by previous generations of Europeans – Zelenskyy

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking to deputies of the French National Assembly on Friday, said that the battle for Ukraine now has the same existential significance for Europe and its future as the battles won by previous generations of Europeans.

“These days we honor the bravery of the people and the mutual support of the nations that won the Battle of Normandy … The ones who won. And it is the victory that is still being felt on Omaha Beach, where we were yesterday with the President, with Emmanuel, and other leaders. It is the victorious battle that people remember there and take pride in being able to follow in the footsteps of its participants. The warriors who were very different, from different countries, but equally eager for freedom to prevail,” the President stated.

As he stressed, “without those battles won, there would be nothing, there would be no one, there would be no us – Ukraine, France, all free nations. There would be no free individual in Europe either as a concept or as a possibility of real freedom.”

“Our Europe is the result of the courage of the men and women of that time, all those who, despite fear, did not submit to evil, who resisted and fought … We all remember what Nazism means. If there had been no victory over Nazism, our entire continent would have remained a truly dark stain in history,” the head of state said.

At the same time, Zelenskyy stated: “We live in a time when Europe has once again ceased to be a continent of peace. Unfortunately. And in a time when Nazism is making a comeback. Unfortunately. When in Europe once again, cities are being completely destroyed and villages burned. When Europe is once again facing filtration camps, deportations, and hatred that has become the new Russian cult. When there are once again attempts to reshape Europe by force and claims that certain peoples supposedly do not deserve to exist independently.”

All of this, as he said, “is now aimed against Ukraine.”

“But it is also for the purpose of being aimed against others tomorrow. We can even see the order in which the aggression may go – the Baltic States, Poland, the Balkans, and beyond … This Russian regime does not recognize borders. Even Europe is not enough for it. It has already devastated Syria and is causing chaos in the Sahel. It invests in terror and undermines life wherever it can reach and where it encounters no resistance. It uses everything to make countries weaker – from energy resources to food. In the XXI century, it has brought back the entire arsenal of the past centuries – from naval blockades to the mass abduction of our people's children,” Zelenskyy stated.

“It will find a way to destabilize everyone, destabilize Europe, destabilize you. This is what tomorrow may be like. Tomorrow – if Ukraine does not win,” the President stressed.

At the same time, the head of state noted that “this battle against the Russian invaders is taking place on the land of our Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, on the border with Russia and on the outskirts of Kherson, in the underground in Berdiansk, Melitopol and Crimea, in the skies of Ukraine, in our Black Sea. This battle for Ukraine is as existentially important for Europe as the battles won by previous generations of Europeans.”

“This battle is a crossroads. The moment when we can all write history together now – the way we need it, or we can become victims of history as our enemy wants. I emphasize: a common enemy … It leaves no life. These are the scorched, deserted ruins of our cities and villages. [Russia too] is the territory of devalued life,” he stated.

Putin, as Zelenskyy stressed, "cannot win this battle, because there are no lines for evil – either 80 years ago or now."

In addition, according to Ukrainian President, “and if someone tries to draw temporary lines, it will only give a pause before a new war. It is the same now as it was when evil was unleashing its aggression against its neighbors in the 1930s. Hitler crossed line after line. Putin is doing the same.”

“Can we win this battle? Undoubtedly, yes … I am as sure of this as France believed in freedom even before D-Day [the day of the Allied landings in Normandy]. But that D-Day, like the day of the European victory, was inevitable,” he noted.

At the same time, addressing the deputies of the French parliament, Zelenskyy recalled the circumstances under which he turned to the allies, including France, for help in the first month after the start of the Russian invasion.

“The first time I had the honor of addressing you was at a moment that was extremely difficult, deadly difficult for us. The occupiers had not yet been driven out from the outskirts of our capital, Kyiv, and battles were raging near it … At that moment, the world had not yet seen Bucha and did not yet fully understand what Russian occupation meant. And no one believed how effective Ukrainians could become. But even then, we knew, and we knew for sure, that we would overcome any difficulties of the war, and the only thing that was necessary for that was that the Ukrainians were not left on their own. We needed to have effective support … I would like to thank you all that France did not hesitate and chose the side of humanity in this war. The side of culture. The side of international law,” he said.

The Head of State thanked France for the fact that Ukraine can rely on its military and humanitarian support and expressed confidence that “the day will come when Ukraine will be able to see in its skies the same planes that we saw yesterday in the skies of Normandy … French combat aircraft – brilliant fighter jets that, under the control of Ukrainian pilots, will prove that Europe is stronger. Stronger than the evil that dared to threaten Europe … We are doing our best to ensure that in 80 years our cooperation will be remembered as a victorious battle.”