The President of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelensky, spoke by videoconference this Tuesday before the plenary session of the Congress of Deputies with a speech applauded by the camera in which he compared the situation in the country due to the Russian invasion with the bombardment by the troops Nazis and fascists from Gernika: “We are in April 2022, but it seems like April 1937”. This has been his full intervention:
Dear Madam President of the Congress of Deputies. Dear Mr. President of the Government. Dear Representatives and Senators. Dear members of the Government Dear people of Spain:
First of all I want to apologize for this delay. I have just spoken before the UN Security Council. I hope you don’t understand it as a lack of respect, it was a delay due to technical reasons.
I write to YOU with the assurance that you understand the depth of our pain in the face of war and our hope for peace. Because at the moment in Ukraine absolutely everything is under threat, everything that is also for you the basis of a community life.
We are one of the largest countries in Europe and one of the most diverse. But democracy and respect for everyone, for each community, unites us.
I want to give just one example about our country, about our life: we have created the Council of Churches and Religious Communities of Ukraine. Different confessions, different points of view on social life are represented in this Council. Relations between the State and the Church have always developed peacefully, within mutual respect within the Council.
This is just one example that shows that we Ukrainians want peace, we do not want conflicts on such sensitive issues, which in other societies are sometimes resolved through conflicts and disputes.
Russia came with war to our land, and not yesterday, nor the day before yesterday, but a long time ago. We have been defending our country from cruel and unjustified aggression since 2014. First, with the occupation of our Crimea. Then the war began in the Ukrainian Donbas.
And now, for 41 days we have suffered from the full-scale invasion of Russia.
It is the most atrocious war in Europe since the times of the Second World War.
But why has Russia invaded Ukraine? What do the Russians intend to destroy with their weapons?
They intend to destroy not only our people, not only the foundation of peaceful life, but also the possibility of living without a dictatorship, the possibility of living without state violence, the possibility of being a strong and transparent democracy, the possibility that different communities religious can live together in peace.
The Russian regime does not contemplate all this, something that for Ukraine is usual. Russia wants Ukraine to be dominated by a single regime, a regime of tyranny. To destroy all diversity, to make it impossible to reach agreements between different communities. And this is exactly what is happening now in Russia. The same thing they want to establish in the Ukraine, and then in all of Eastern Europe and Central Europe.
And what will happen next?
I know that for your country, for Spain, it is important that the democratic system be safe. So that peace is guaranteed on the European continent.
But will this still be possible in the future?
Russia is using all its resources to extend the war and the destruction of all foundations of normal life.
Just imagine that today Ukrainian mothers write on the backs of their babies with a ballpoint pen the name of the child, and the contact phone numbers of relatives… For what?
Well, so that in the event that the occupants kill their parents, they have at least a small hope of saving their children.
Imagine that today European citizens had to live entire weeks in basements to save their lives from bombing, from missiles. We are in April of the year 2022, but it seems that we are in April of 1937, when the whole world knew the name of a Spanish city, Gernika.
Imagine that the civilian population in the cities had to live in inhumane conditions, deprived of water, food, or medicine.
Russian troops have been besieging Mariupol for more than three weeks. They are destroying this city, there is practically nothing left but ruins. More than 90% of the buildings have been destroyed! The murdered people are buried directly in the patios of the houses, next to the collapsed buildings, where they lived…
Russian aircraft have consciously bombed in Mariupol even the buildings where people, children took refuge… knowing that they were there.
Ukraine insists on this every day, every day of this invasion. But the war continues. Russia is not looking for peace.
And the most horrible thing is that we do NOT know how long the war will last, until the world does everything necessary to achieve peace.
Strong sanctions are needed. How can Russian banks be allowed to continue generating profits, while in Ukrainian cities the Russian military tortures civilians to death?
How can European companies do business with a country that is knowingly destroying the entire Ukrainian people?
I know that many of your companies have already stopped financing the Russian military machine through the taxes they generate.
And I thank you very much. I thank your country, your society, your firmness regarding sanctions.
However, at the same time, I am addressing companies such as Maxam, Porcelanosa, Sercobe and others, to stop having commercial relations with Russia.
What has happened in our city of Bucha, in our city Borodianka and in others, are war crimes. They are crimes against humanity, which do not prescribe.
This is a compelling reason for the Russian military leaders to be condemned by the International Criminal Court.
How is it possible that under these conditions the countries of the world can freely continue to buy Russian oil and allow Russian ships to enter their ports?
Ladies and Gentlemen,
people of Spain,
At the moment, not only the fate of our country, but the fate of the entire European community is being decided on the territory of Ukraine. The destiny of the values that unite us. The democracy that unites us all, the human rights that have become a fundamental value for all of us.
I am grateful to your country for supporting joint decisions for peace.
But all of us, my country, Europe, and the whole world, must do more so that Russia begins to seek peace, so that Russia begins to respect international law.
What does it take for that?
Europeans must stop being afraid, stop being weak.
They must respect the values and democracy above the threats that Russia is spreading.
I am sure that you are not afraid, but I beg you to do everything possible so that other European countries lose their fear.
You can help us, you can help restore peace. Give us the weapons we need.
We greatly appreciate the help you have already given us. Continue to support the sanctions, which are so necessary, and let’s end the fear of Russia, everywhere.
Because democracy is not afraid. Freedom must be defended.
Human rights are the most important. The right to peace.
The right to life.
The right to happiness and to grow free. The right to security in the family.
The right for our children to have a future. The right to a dignified old age for our parents. The right to respect all communities.
The right to be part of the European family.
Glory to Ukraine!