In the latest address to world leaders, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the German parliament to tear down the new “wall” being built by Russia in Europe, dividing Western and Eastern Europeans over the subject of freedom.
“Dear [German chancellor Olaf Scholz], tear down this wall,” Zelensky pleaded, echoing Ronald Reagan’s famous 1987 speech when the American president called on the then-President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to bring down the Berlin wall.
“It’s not a Berlin Wall — it is a wall in central Europe between freedom and bondage and this Wall is growing bigger with every bomb,” Zelensky said, also calling on Scholz to “give Germany the leadership role that you in Germany deserve.”
Zelensky then argued that Germany was more concerned about its own economy than the security of Ukraine prior to the Russian invasion.
“We turned to you,” Zelensky said. “We told you that Nord Stream was a kind of preparation for the war.”
“And the answer we got was purely economic — it is economy, economy, economy but that was the mortar for the new wall,” he said.
Zelensky also discussed the slogan “never again,” in reference to the Holocaust.
“I address all of you who heard politicians say every year ‘never again,’ but I can see these words are worth nothing. Now, our whole nation is being exterminated in Europe, why?” Zelensky said. “I address the older people among you who have survived the Second World War, who were rescued during the occupation, who survived Babyn Yar, where President Steinmeier visited last year for the 80th anniversary of the tragedy, and where Russian missiles struck.”
“It was there that families were killed. Again, 80 years later,” Zelensky continued. “You are also behind the wall, a wall that separates you from Ukrainians that are dying in Ukraine with every bomb that is landing on our land.”
Zelensky’s speech to Germany was notably more critical than his address to the British and American governments. However, Zelensky did invoke the memory of Pearl Harbor and September 11 in his speech to the United States Congress, as part of his call for a no-fly zone.
“Friends, Americans, in your great history, you have pages that would allow you to understand Ukrainians, understand us now, when we need you right now,” Zelensky said in his speech to Congress, according to a translation. “Remember Pearl Harbor, terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you,” Zelensky said. “Just remember it, remember, September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn US cities into battlefields, when innocent people were attacked from air, just like nobody else expected it and you could not stop it. Our country experiences the same, every day, right now.”
“Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people,” Zelensky continued. “Russian troops have already fired nearly 1,000 missiles at Ukraine, countless bombs they use drones to kill us with precision. This is a terror that Europe has not seen, has not seen for 80 years and we are asking for a reply for an answer to this terror from the whole world is there’s a lot to ask for to create a no fly zone zone over Ukraine to save people.”
“Is this too much to ask humanitarian no fly zone, something that Ukraine it that Russia would not be able to terrorize our Free Cities,” Zelensky asked. “Is this too much to ask? We offer an alternative: you know what kind of defense systems we need. 300 and other similar systems, you know how much depends on the battlefield on their ability to use aircraft. Powerful, strong air aviation to protect our people with freedom or learn aircraft that can help Ukraine help Europe and you know that they exist and you have them but they are on earth not in Ukraine in the Ukrainian sky.”
“They don’t defend our people. I have a dream,” Zelensky added. “These words are known to each of you today. I can say I have a need. I need to protect our sky. I need your decision. Your help. Which means exactly the same. The same you feel when you hear the words. I have a dream.”
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