Dear Mr. Chairman,

Dear ladies and gentlemen senators,

Dear friends,

It is a special honor to be in the Senate of the French Republic today and to address you from Ukraine, which is in the grip of war.

Millions of Ukrainians, who are experiencing the most senseless and brutal aggression since the Second World War, will speak from the high rostrum of the Senate today.

I really want you to hear their tired, grieving, but unbreakable and invincible voices.

In these voices, Mr. Chairman, you will hear the voices that you heard in Bucha and Borodianka, who fought with dignity, stopping the enemy 20 kilometers from Kyiv.

I want you to hear the voices of unconquered Mariupol and Azovstal, of Odesa, which is so close to the French, of Bakhmut and Soledar, where our soldiers are standing to the death defending their native land.

Among these voices will be those that asked for help in the house in Dnipro destroyed by a Russian missile, where 46 Ukrainians were killed and almost a hundred wounded on January 14.

Once again, I thank you, dear Gerard, and the delegation you led, which arrived in Ukraine last July and returned home a changed man, as you said at the time.

It was a brave act of true friends.

Your inspirational speech in the Verkhovna Rada was heard by the whole of Ukraine: it was discussed for a long time and enthusiastically by members of the Parliament, soldiers at the front and those who help the army in the rear.

In it, we all felt the powerful and unconquerable spirit of France, the spirit of the free Parisians who stormed the Bastille more than 230 years ago!

Yes, today we, Ukrainians, are taking our Bastille!

Today, the great Ukrainian nation is being forged, fighting for its own freedom, its own way of development, its own future in a gruelling struggle!

I am pleased to realize that the great French people are by our side in this primarily ideological confrontation, and I would like to thank you, its high representatives, for this.

Dear ladies and gentlemen senators,

Have you ever thought about why we are being killed?

We are being killed only because we, like you, love our land, honor our thousand-year history, and cherish our language, just like you.

Have you ever thought about how we are being killed?

We are cynically killed with all available weapons: ballistic and cruise missiles, kamikaze drones.

They are killing us with cold and darkness, destroying critical energy infrastructure.

Have you ever thought about who is killing us?

We are being killed by someone who, under the guise of a special military operation, has launched a full-scale invasion, someone who dreams of restoring the russian empire, someone who does not care about international law and the norms of peaceful coexistence.

On his orders, we are being killed by those who only yesterday swore they were brothers.

The special military operation in Ukraine, as the aggressor has called its actions, is only a cynical cover for the invasion of the West, which can only be stopped by defeating it!

Laying down our arms is not our way!

Our way is to repel the aggressor and defend our native land!

Ukraine has become a shield that protects Europe and the entire civilized world.

The cruel and insidious enemy brings death and destruction, produces fakes, blaming the collective West for its crimes.

Lets not give in to moscow’s disinformation, which has deep historical roots!

The non-existent villages of count potemkin, who skillfully misled empress catherine, found their manifestation centuries later in the tragedy of Ukrainian Bucha.

According to russian propaganda, it did not exist, just as there were no mutilated bodies of civilians on the streets.

I recall another very eloquent case from the thirties of the last century, when stalin was killing Ukrainians by starvation.

Archival documents tell of a visit to Ukraine by a well-known French politician, Edouard Herriot, who did not see any famine there because his route was specially tailored to exemplary villages and collective farms.

So, we can only win together, because the insane invader will not stop in Ukraine, but will move on to spread the “russky mir”.

And it doesn't matter how it will be done: armed or ideological, the beast pretends to be a lamb, but it is eager to kill and conquer new territories.

I urge you, dear colleagues, to recognize russia as a terrorist state, as have the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe and NATO, and the parliaments and governments of other countries.

We welcome your solidarity in establishing a special tribunal to bring to justice all those who have committed and are committing war crimes.

Only irreversibility of punishment will make it impossible to repeat such crimes in the future.

Until russia stops its aggression and gets out of Ukrainian territory, it has no place next to the G7, in the G20, or at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

It is important that, being well aware of the scale and consequences of the aggression, France supported the UN General Assembly resolution on the mechanism of compensation for the damage caused to Ukraine.

Once again, I would like to sincerely thank you for your leadership in providing Ukraine with weapons that will help us defend ourselves and help us win.

Many countries around the world have followed your example and we will soon receive the tanks we need.

We sincerely hope that France will be the first to provide Ukraine with its modern airplanes.

Your Caesar artillery systems, Crotale anti-aircraft missile systems, LRU multiple launch rocket systems and AMX-10RC light tanks have proven themselves among the Ukrainian Armed Forces and are effectively deterring the enemy.

At the same time, our priority needs remain unchanged: aircraft, heavy armoured vehicles, and air and missile defense systems. We must achieve superiority on the ground and close the skies over Ukraine.

As a kind and peaceful people, even as a victim of military aggression, we still think about peace.

About sustainable peace.

After all, we do not need someone else’s peace – we are protecting our own.

That is why the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi has proposed a ten-point peace formula to the world, which aims to end the war.

Help us to implement it by creating a new and strong architecture for European and global security: but not at the cost of concessions, compromises for which our children and grandchildren will be hurt and ashamed.

We need reliable security guarantees, one of which is undoubtedly membership in the European Union and NATO.

From the authoritative rostrum of the French Senate, I would like to call on Europe and the Euro-Atlantic community to accept us into their circle as soon as possible and without hesitation.

To accept us as a family accepts a warrior who has returned home after a gruelling war, a warrior who has won and defended his family, his land, our common European future!

We are deeply grateful to France for its role in granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for accession to the European Union.

Let me remind you that last March, when the leaders’ summit in Versailles took place, it was France’s position that became a turning point.

It happened just two weeks after Ukraine submitted its membership application.

At that time, EU leaders decided that Ukraine would become a member of the EU, regardless of further developments.

As the great Honore de Balzac, who, as you know, found his love in Ukraine, said, “to reach a goal, one must first of all walk.”

And we are walking.

As the Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament, I would like to emphasize that Ukraine is confidently moving towards its goal, working effectively to pass the necessary laws and implement important reforms.

We are well aware that joining the EU is not an easy process.

The President of Ukraine, the Parliament and the Government have consistently demonstrated zero tolerance for corruption and are fighting to eradicate this phenomenon. The last few days alone have seen landmark dismissals and detentions of high-level corrupt officials.

Such a massive attack on corruption has happened for the first time in the 31 years of Ukraine’s independence!

We are focused on completing all seven steps set by the European Commission as soon as possible and starting the accession negotiations.

I am confident that our joint work will soon make it clear that Ukraine can and should become a full-fledged member of the European Union in a dynamic and effective manner!

We are also counting on the support of friendly France in the issue of Ukraine’s accelerated accession to NATO in the context of the Vilnius Summit of the Alliance to be held on July 11-12, 2023.

Dear friends,

There are no words to express our gratitude to you for sheltering more than one hundred thousand Ukrainian citizens in France. These are the future citizens of the European Union.

Thank you for caring about our children who have gone to your schools, about Ukrainian mothers who care for them as if they were your own people!

History has given our peoples and cultures many chances to unite.

It gives us such a chance today.

I have already mentioned in your authoritative circle one historical phenomenon called the Holodomor.

As a result of the genocidal actions of the stalinist regime, millions of Ukrainians died as a result of artificially organized and deliberate famine.

Right now, a signal from France to recognize the Holodomor would be very important, as the events of 1932-33 confirm the determination of the then stalinist and now putin’s russia to destroy the Ukrainian identity throughout modern history.

I would like to call on all those present to support the draft resolution on the recognition of the Holodomor of 1932-33 as genocide of the Ukrainian people, which was presented by Ms. Senator Joelle Garriaud-Maylam, who is also the President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Chair of the France-Ukraine Friendship Group of the Senate, Ms. Nadia Sologub.

Mr. Speaker, in your address to Ukrainians last summer from the rostrum of the Verkhovna Rada, you aptly said that “the European soul and ideals are now being embodied by the Ukrainian people.”

Our national anthem has the following lines: “We will lay down our body and soul for our freedom and show that we are brothers of the Cossack family”!

Yes, our ideals are freedom and living in a large and free European family!

We will definitely achieve our goal!

We will definitely win, because the truth is behind us!

We will definitely rebuild Ukraine together!

We have no right to waste our historic chance!

Thank you for your attention!

Glory to Ukraine!

Vive la France!


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