Zelenskyy in UK: War-embattled President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has been echoing his voice against Russia's ruthless war, has reached the United Kingdom, where he urged his excellency to provide "wings" to his Air Force in order to ensure freedom for Ukraine.
Zelenskyy, who stepped outside the war-ravaged country for the second time on Wednesday, was greeted with applause, cheers and cries of “Slava Ukraini” — “Glory to Ukraine” — as he arrived in Parliament. As he entered the Parliament, wide support from both the Conservative government and opposition parties as lawmakers were seen cheering his courage with claps and salutes.
While addressing hundreds of lawmakers and parliamentary staff packed the 900-year-old Westminster Hall, Zelenskyy echoed his voice for the freedom of his country and urged UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to provide lethal weapons including warplanes, and tanks to thrash the rival forces.
It is worth noting that London had initially shown reluctance in delivering lethal weapons to Kyiv but was later convinced by Western leaders. Zelenskyy, who donned his trademark olive drab sweatshirt, urged allies to send his country jets, saying combat aircraft would be “wings for freedom.”
While delivering his speech, Zelenskyy presented the speaker of the House of Commons with a Ukrainian air force helmet, inscribed by a Ukrainian pilot: "We have freedom. Give us wings to protect it."
Zelenskyy thanks Johnson for his continued support since "day one"
Zelenskyy thanked Sunak and his predecessor Boris Johnson, a staunch backer of Ukraine while was prime minister. Sunak took office in October and has pledged to maintain the U.K.’s support. “Boris, you got others united when it seemed absolutely impossible,” Zelenskyy said.
He also urged stronger sanctions against Moscow until “Russia is deprived of any possibility to finance this war.” Zelenskyy said he was speaking on behalf of Ukrainians and thanked Britons for their bravery. “London has stood with Kyiv since Day One,” he said.
Zelenskyy, who also met at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday with King Charles III, noted that the British monarch was a qualified military pilot. “The king is an air force pilot,” Zekenskyy said, and “in Ukraine today, every air force pilot is a king.”
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