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Democracy

President Zelenskyy's speeches keep bringing the people translating them to tears

President Zelenskyy's speeches keep bringing the people translating them to tears

President Zelenskyy's speech to the European Parliament ended in a standing ovation.

This past week, we have seen what courageous, compassionate leadership looks like in the incredible response of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Zelenskyy was given the opportunity to evacuate under U.S. protection and he chose instead to stay in Ukraine and fight for his country, saying "I need ammunition, not a ride." He delivered an emotional appeal to the Russian people, calling on them to recognize that ordinary people—both Russian and Ukrainian—will be the ones to suffer if Russia wages war. He and his leadership team have shared messages from the streets of Kyiv, reassuring his fellow Ukrainians that they will continue to fight alongside them.



The calm, courage and resolve Zelenskyy has demonstrated has captured the hearts of freedom-loving people around the world. His words have also moved interpreters to tears as he calls upon the humanity in all of us in supporting Ukraine against Russia's attacks.

Zelenskyy addressed the European parliament today, explaining the current situation in Ukraine, where cruise missiles hit Freedom Square in Kharkiv and cities are all blocked. You can hear the interpreter fighting back tears as she translates the president's message that they are fighting for their land and their freedom.

Once again, Zelenskyy's words were powerful: "Nobody is going to break us. We're strong. We're Ukrainians. We have a desire to see our children alive. I think it's a fair one."

Zelenskyy's speech was received with a standing ovation from the members of the European Parliament.

The interpreter's emotional reaction was shared by another Ukrainian interpreter a few days ago. As she attempted to translate Zelenksyy's speech live on German TV, the interpreter burst into tears and couldn't continue.

She shared what happened on Twitter, writing, "I'm a conference interpreter, I interpret 10 hrs peace talks. But today live on German TV I couldn't finish interpreting Zelensky, during his last words I broke into tears."

"I love you all, my fellow Ukrainians," she added.

By showing he won't back down and by calling on people's common humanity, Zelenskyy has moved and inspired the free world and rallied allies behind him around the globe. Even Switzerland, which has famously remained neutral in conflicts, has taken its side and sanctioned Russia for the invasion.

Whatever the political outcome, President Zelenskyy has given the world a hero to root for and won over the hearts of people in a way that authoritarian dictators will never be able to.

Zelenskyy's full speech to the European Parliament is worth a watch:

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

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This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


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