Translator Chokes Up as Zelenskyy Delivers Emotional Address to European Parliament

“Prove that you are with us. Prove that you will not let us go.”

Jonas Roosens/ZUMA

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As Russia’s brutal invasion into Ukraine stretched into its sixth day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday delivered an emotional address to the European Parliament, urging leaders to swiftly support Ukraine’s full ascension to the European Union.

“Prove that you are with us,” Zelenskyy said in a video speech. “Prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you are indeed Europeans, and then life will win over death and light will win over darkness.”

“The EU will be much stronger with us,” he continued, as an interpreter choked up translating the remarks into English.

The powerful speech came as Russian forces appeared to be increasingly targeting civilians, prompting Zelenskyy earlier on Tuesday to accuse Russia of war crimes. “This is terror against Ukraine,” he said in a Facebook video after Russia bombed Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. “There were no military targets in the square, nor are they in those residential districts of Kharkiv which come under rocket artillery fire.”

Meanwhile, diplomats in Geneva on Tuesday staged a walkout to protest Russia’s Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s address to the UN Human Rights Council. 

Speaking in a video address, Lavrov claimed, without evidence, that Ukraine had been working to acquire nuclear weapons—one of the many false claims Moscow has used to justify its invasion.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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