British MPs gave a standing ovation to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy as he gave an historic address to the House of Commons.
MPs took to their feet even before Zelenskyy, who appeared via a live video link from Ukraine, had said a word.
It was the first time any foreign leader has addressed the Commons directly.
He told of his country’s pain and suffering after nearly two weeks of war, during which time hundreds of Ukrainian civilians have been killed and bombs have rained down on cities. Ukraine does not want to lose “what is ours”, just as Britain once felt as it fought back against Nazi Germany, he said.
“We will not surrender, we will not lose, we will go to the end. We will fight to the end at sea, in the air. We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost,” Zelenskyy said, echoing a famous 1940 wartime address by Winston Churchill.
“We will fight in the forests, in the fields, on the shores, in the streets.”
Zelenskyy also thanked Britain for its support but asked for the UK to further intensify sanctions, including making Ukraine’s skies safe and designating Russia as a terrorist state.
Western leaders have resisted calls for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which national security officials have warned risks direct military conflict with Russia that could escalate into a war between nuclear-armed superpowers.
The United States and Britain announced on Tuesday that they would ban Russian oil imports, increasing the economic pressure on the Kremlin.