World

“How would you feel about Russia …”: President of Ukraine to Canada

Zelensky said Russian forces had killed 97 children so far.

Ottawa:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a passionate speech to the Canadian parliament on Tuesday doubled his demand for a no-fly zone, and called on lawmakers to imagine that their cities were being bombed at enormous human cost.

In the video address, the Ukrainian leader accused the Russian army of “destroying everything”: souvenir sets, schools, hospitals, housing sets.

“97 Ukrainian children have already been killed,” Zelensky said.

“We are not asking for much. We are asking for justice, for real help, to help us prevail, to defend (ourselves), to save lives,” he said, receiving a standing ovation from lawmakers.

He renewed calls for a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine to stop the bombing. NATO allies, including Canada, have rejected the proposal, fearing it would lead to the spread of the conflict.

“Can you imagine when you call your friends and ask them to please close the sky, close the airspace, please stop the bombing? … And when they (simply) express a deep concern about the situation,” he laments. “How many more cruise missiles need to fall on our cities until this happens?”

Zelensky rhetorically asked how Canadians would react if Russia besieged Vancouver, bombed Ottawa Airport, or targeted the CN Tower in Toronto, while listing the historic sites in Ukraine that had been bombed.

“I know you all support Ukraine,” Zelensky told lawmakers, “but I would like to understand, to feel what we feel every day.”

“Imagine Canada’s facilities being bombarded as our buildings and memorial sites are being bombarded,” he said. “Some families have died. It’s a terrible night.”

– Penalties are not enough –

Several times in a 12-minute speech, Zelensky addressed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directly, asking how he would explain the war to his children: “Justin, can you and your children imagine hearing all these hard explosions” every morning. 4pm? “

The Ukrainian leader described cities without heat or electricity, with no means of communication, and looking for cover in bomb shelters that are running out of food and water.

“This is precisely the situation that our city of Mariupol is currently experiencing,” said Zelensky, as 20,000 people fled the besieged port city on Tuesday.

Canada has the second largest Ukrainian diaspora in the world, with almost 1.4 million (3.8 percent) of the total population of Ukrainian descent.

On Wednesday, Zelensky will address the American Congress, having already spoken to the British and European Parliaments.

Earlier, Trudeau announced sanctions against 15 other Russian officials, including “government and military elites who are complicit in this illegal war.”

The move brings the number of Belarussian, Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities sanctioned by Ottawa to nearly 500 since the start of the war last month.

“Vladimir Putin’s blatant disregard for human life is unacceptable,” the Canadian leader said, praising Zelensky as an inspiration.

“Democracies around the world are lucky to have you as our champion,” he said.

Zelensky thanked Canada for the sanctions, as well as military equipment and humanitarian aid.

But, he said, “unfortunately this did not end the war.” “We all need to do more to stop Russia, to protect Ukraine.”

“Please expand your efforts to restore peace in our peaceful country,” he said.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a press release)

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