Members' Research Service By / April 4, 2022

Russia’s war on Ukraine: Speeches by Ukraine’s President to the European Parliament and national parliaments

Within a few days of the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on 24 February, Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressed the European Parliament. He then went on to address a number of national parliaments.

© Valentin Kundeus / Adobe Stock

Written by Micaela Del Monte.

On 24 February 2022, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threw the international status quo into disarray by violating the country’s sovereignty and integrity. Since then, over 1 000 civilian casualties have been reported and over 3.8 million people have been forced to flee the country. Many others are displaced within Ukraine’s borders, while civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, roads and buildings, is being targeted by Russian military action. The shelling of civilians and the alleged use of chemical and/or biological weapons by Russian military forces have spurred the international community to accuse Russia of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Against this backdrop, Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been addressing parliaments around the world to plead the cause of the Ukrainian people and ask for both military and humanitarian help. He began by addressing the European Parliament, before continuing with many others, both in Europe and further afield. The latest in a line of historical leaders mobilising rhetoric in times of war, Zelenskyy’s speeches have each been tailor-made to their specific audience and have been consistent in reminding policy-makers around the world of the humanitarian tragedy unfolding as a result of the war and of the Ukrainian people’s military needs.

Taking a look at speeches given by Zelenskyy to the European Parliament and several national parliaments between 1 and 24 March 2022, in the month after Russia invaded Ukraine, this briefing summarises the Ukrainian president’s main messages and offers some thoughts about the narrative used by Zelenskyy to keep Russia’s war on Ukraine at the top of national and international agendas.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Russia’s war on Ukraine: Speeches by Ukraine’s President to the European Parliament and national parliaments‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

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