Speed Reads

'this is the price of freedom'

Zelensky's speech to the European Parliament leaves interpreter choked up with emotion

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a stirring address to the European Parliament on Tuesday that at one point got so emotional it had the interpreter choking up.

Zelensky spoke to the European Parliament remotely from Kyiv on Tuesday amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine. He spoke about the "tragedy" that has been unfolding after "five days of full-scale invasion" by Russia, telling European leaders "we are giving away our best people" in the fight for freedom and that 16 children were killed the day before. 

Zelensky also told the parliament it had been a particularly tragic morning for Ukraine after two cruise missiles hit Freedom Square in Kharkiv. As the Ukrainian president described this attack, the interpreter grew emotional and began to choke up.

"This is the price of freedom," Zelensky said. "We're fighting just for our land and for our freedom." 

But Zelensky added, "Nobody is going to break us. We're strong. We're Ukrainians." 

The president went on to say that Ukraine is fighting "for survival" and "to be equal members of Europe," adding, "I believe that today, we are showing everybody that's exactly what we are." He concluded, "Do prove that you are with us. Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you indeed are Europeans, and then life will win over death and light will win over darkness. Glory be to Ukraine." He received a standing ovation

Correction: A previous version of this story used the word "translator" rather than "interpreter." It has been updated.