'Will Fight to the End': Zelenskyy Invokes Churchill in Speech to UK Lawmakers

"We will not give up, and we will not lose," he said.

2 min read

Video Producer: Shohini Bose

Video Editor: Mohd. Irshad Alam

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on Tuesday, 8 March, vowed to "fight to the end" in a virtual speech to UK lawmakers, where he even invoked the wartime defiance of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, which got him a standing ovation.

"We will not give up, and we will not lose," he said.

"We will fight to the end, at sea, in the air. We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost, in the forests, in the fields, on the shores, in the streets," he quoted Churchill.

Churchill said the above words in June 1940 in his address to the House of Commons after British forces were forced to retreat from France by Nazi Germany during World War 2.


Zelenskyy's speech was the chamber's first-ever virtual speech by a foreign leader. Wearing a military-green T-shirt and sitting next to Ukraine's blue-and-yellow flag, Zelenskyy also invoked William Shakespeare.

"The question for us now is, to be or not to be," he said. "Now I can give you a definitive answer: it is yes, to be."

He thanked the Western countries for their action against Russia. However, he said that NATO had failed to accede to his demands of having a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

"But please increase the pressure of sanctions against this country. And please recognise this country as a terrorist state. And please make sure that our skies are safe," he said.

Responding to Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said "Never before in all our centuries of parliamentary democracy has the House listened to such an address."

"He has moved the hearts of everybody in this House," he said.

Johnson further said that the West was determined to press on with arms supplies and further sanctions on Russia.

(With inputs from Reuters.)

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