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Highlights from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's speech in Canada's Parliament

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers a speech in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was in Ottawa on Friday for an official visit that included a speech to Parliament. 

Here are some excerpts from his address.


"Moscow now, as always, is bent on controlling Ukraine and makes use of all available means to do that, including genocide. It is genocide what Russian occupiers are doing to Ukraine. And when we want to win, when we call on the world to support us, it is not just about an ordinary conflict. It is about saving lives of millions of people."

"Life and justice must prevail everywhere in Ukraine and for all Ukrainians. This Russian aggression must end with our victory. Yes. Yes. So that Russia will never bring back genocide to Ukraine and will never ever try to do so. Moscow must lose once and for all, and it will lose."

"In my opinion, one of the most starling qualities of your country is that justice is not an empty word for Canada. Another extremely important fact about you is that you never, never, ever make a political bet on hatred and enmity. And you are always on the bright side of history."

"During the First World War and in the time between those terrible, terrible wars, and during the Second World War and during the Cold War, you always defended freedom. You have always defended justice. And I had no doubt that you would choose the side of freedom and justice when Russia launched a full-scale war against Ukraine. Thank you."

"Canada's support for Ukraine with weapons and equipment has allowed us to save thousands, thousands of lives. This includes air defence systems, armoured vehicles, artillery shells and very significant assistance in de-mining. Thank you so much. Canada's leadership in sanctions against Russia for this war and terror really encouraged others in the world to follow, to follow your lead. And I am especially grateful for your extremely strong one hundred per cent leadership support of the Ukrainian movement to NATO."

"In addition to being purely technological danger, the Russian nuclear industry also source Moscow's political expansion. Russia uses nuclear technology and construction of nuclear power plants, like gas and oil, for political attacks against the sovereignty of other nations. Russia is trying to break the sovereignty of others through its manipulation of energy resources, all energy resources. So the more nations are free from Russian energy resources, the sooner energy in the world will once again become just an energy resource, not a weapon against sovereignties."

"Active and global work is also required to bring Russia to justice for the crime of aggression itself and for absolutely all crimes from this aggression, all deaths, every deportation of every child, every adult. Every life needs to be protected. And every attacked nation needs justice to rule. The world needs it too, so that other potential aggressors can see that war ends in verdicts for the aggressor."

"Can we give up? No. Can we betray the good in human nature? No. Can we agree to evil? No. Can we allow our identity to be erased? No. Ukraine and Canada are the same. We stand and we fight for life. Ukraine, not genocide, will be victorious in this war. People will be the winners, not the Kremlin."

"Today, me and my beautiful first lady really had the honour of meeting with the Governor General of Canada, (the) Honourable Mary Simon. And she taught me a word from her mother tongue: ajuinnata. She said the meaning of this word is don't give up. Don't give up, stay strong against all odds. And so: Ajuinnata Canada. Ajuinnata Ukraine. Slava Ukraini."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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