President of Ukraine

Speech by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Romanian Parliament

4 April 2022 - 21:26

Speech by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Romanian Parliament

Dear Mr. President of the Chamber of Deputies!

Dear Mr. President of the Senate!

Dear Mr. Prime Minister!

Ladies and gentlemen, deputies and senators, guests!

Dear friends!

Romanian people!

I am grateful for this opportunity to address you and all your people.

A few hours ago I returned from the liberated cities of the Kyiv region - near our capital. It is these territories from which we expelled the Russian occupiers and saw what they had been doing to the Ukrainian people on our land. And I want you to see it now. What the occupiers left behind. I apologize - the video is brutal, but it's a reality...

The name of our city of Bucha is now forever in world history. In the history of war crimes. In the history of the extermination of people.

As of now, we know about more than 300 civilians tortured, executed or otherwise killed in Bucha. Ordinary residents of an ordinary city near Kyiv. Their hands were tied behind their backs, they were shot in the back of the head or in the eye, killed just in the streets. Civilian vehicles were crushed by military equipment. Vehicles with people! They raped women and girls...

And this is just the beginning of the investigation. Not all evidence has been collected yet. Not all burials have been discovered yet. Not all basements where the Russian military tortured people have been inspected yet. There is every reason to believe that the number of killed residents of Bucha and other Ukrainian cities nearby will be much higher than what we know today.

Why did the Russian military do that?

On the same day, April 3, when the world was horrified to see the bodies of those killed in Bucha, an article justifying the genocide of Ukrainians was published on the website of the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. Its name is quite eloquent, I quote: "What should Russia do with Ukraine". And it's not just text. This is one of the proofs for the future tribunal against Russian war criminals.

The article describes a clear and calculated procedure for the destruction of everything that makes Ukrainians Ukrainians and our people themselves. Those whom they will not be able to break and conquer. It is said that "de-Ukrainization" and "de-Europeanization" of Ukraine should be carried out. It is said that even the name of our state should be erased. Virtually, it is said that the deaths of as many of our people in the war are only welcomed.

I want to emphasize once again: this is the website of the state news agency of Russia, where, under conditions of explicit state censorship, only materials that correspond to the official ideological position on the war against Ukraine can be published. What does not correspond to such a position would simply not pass censorship.

I want you to understand me: they are not even hiding. They openly speak about the purpose of the invasion of Ukraine. If our army had not withstood, if our people had not risen to the defense of the state, they would have done what they did in Bucha - but throughout Ukraine.

We know about the deliberate killings of teachers and educators in the temporarily occupied territories. We know about deliberate terror against all those whom the occupiers considered as activists, as people related to the army.

Even the mere presence of the national symbols of Ukraine, the state flag or coat of arms, in a person's apartment was already a reason for the occupiers to kill this person or at least threaten to kill him or her.

But why aren't they hiding?

Why do they even now, when everything is clear to the world, openly say how they want to destroy the whole nation?

There are two answers to this question.

You will understand the first answer very well.

In 1989, Nicolae Ceaușescu finally ended his life. For many years it has been clear that this man had lost his adequacy. It has been clear that he, his wife, his entourage, his "Securitate" have been dragging your country and people down - to suffering, to poverty, to isolation not just from the world, but from everything advanced in the world.

That regime relied only on intimidation, repression, brutality and deception. There was nothing bright in it. The Romanian people revolted and defended themselves, saved themselves. Having overthrown inadequate power. Because that was the only way. Ceaușescu, his wife, his entourage, his "Securitate" could not be convinced of anything.

It is also impossible to convince those who promote war in Russia now. Who give criminal orders. Who develop plans for the genocide of the Ukrainian people and the destruction of the Ukrainian state. These people are inadequate. They have lost all connection with reality and are willing to sacrifice millions of lives to realize their crazy ideas.

And the second reason why Russia is openly calling for genocide and why the crimes of the occupiers that everyone in the world saw in Bucha are possible is the belief of Russia's top officials that European leaders will fail, will be weak. That Europe will lack leadership. And that the nations of Europe are incapable of defending the values that have united the continent.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Great Romanian people!

Together we must stop these inadequate people who are accustomed to impunity and therefore decided that they are allowed absolutely everything. Together we must stop those who want genocide in Europe.

Why must we do this together?

Each of you understands that Ukraine is not the last target of Russian aggression. Troops of occupiers are stubbornly trying to bypass our city of Mykolaiv to try to seize Odesa. And from Odesa there is one step to Moldova.

Russian state propagandists have long said that Moldova is also a target for Russian expansion. Therefore, the defense of Ukrainians of their own state is a fundamental prerequisite for security and independence of Moldova. And therefore a prerequisite for peace in the whole large region of the Danube.

Now the fate of the whole of Eastern and Central Europe and the Black Sea region is being decided on the territory of Ukraine. Therefore, to protect the freedom of Ukraine, to protect the freedom of Ukrainians is to guarantee the security of Europe.

What must be done?

Yes, it is true, sanctions were imposed on Russia for this war. But the war for our freedom has been going on for 40 days already. After 8 years of war in Donbas. Therefore, sanctions are not enough.

Russia must seek peace with Ukraine and with the whole of Europe. To this end, Russia must be deprived of all resources. First of all, financial and economic ones.

The European Union must finally adopt a principled decision and close ports to Russian ships.

Stop the transit of goods and any economic activity with Russia. Restricting the flow of money for Russian energy has no alternative.

One can argue about what the format should be: a full embargo on supplies or a program like "Oil-for-Food" - but it is necessary.

And not only that.

Every politician in a democratic world must defend the need to provide Ukraine with all the necessary weapons. Because it is on the battlefield that it is decided who will be the winner in this war - freedom or tyranny.

Everyone on whom it depends must do everything possible to quickly and inevitably bring to justice all Russian servicemen and their commanders guilty of committing crimes against civilians in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

Today, I reached an agreement with the European Union on the provision of financial and technical support to the Eurojust Joint Investigation Team, EU member states and the International Criminal Court.

I believe that Romania's leadership will be one of the decisive factors in restoring justice and protecting normal life both in our region and in Europe as a whole.

I am confident that Romania and Romanian companies will also take part in Ukraine's post-war reconstruction program. We invite our partners in Europe to take patronage over a city, region or industry that has suffered from Russia's aggression. Your potential, your inner strength can create a new example of leadership in building a civilized and peaceful life.

I am sincerely grateful to all the Romanian people for their kind treatment of Ukrainian immigrants who have found safety on your land. I hope that together we will be able to create such conditions as soon as possible, when Russia will give up the war, and so our people will be able to return home to Ukraine. And this experience of assistance in emergency situations, mutual respect, kindness between our people has already become the basis for even greater rapprochement of our states, our nations.

As soon as the situation allows, I want to start a dialogue with you on a new comprehensive agreement that guarantees the absolute protection and development of our national minorities - the Ukrainian community in Romania and the Romanian community in Ukraine.

Because our destiny is to be as close as we can. Our destiny is to be defenders of freedom in our region. Our destiny is to be together in the European family.

And I believe that very soon I will be able to address you with words of gratitude for Romania's support for Ukraine's accession to the European Union.

Thank you very much!

Glory to Romania!

Glory to Ukraine!