Russia must pay for 'bringing evil of total war to Europe', Zelenskyy says

Ukrainian president says he believes history will hold Russia responsible for its actions

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said history will hold Russia responsible. AP
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Europe once again has to think about the price to be paid for peace on the continent, as it did in the Second World War, and European nations must also consider the price Russia has to pay “for bringing the evil of total war to Europe again”, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.

History will hold Russia responsible, vowed the Ukrainian president, in a nightly address to his compatriots.

On Monday, Russia held its annual Victory Day parade in Moscow which celebrates the former Soviet Union's triumph over Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

In his speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin channelled memory of the conflict to justify his military invasion of Ukraine, which is now in its third month.

“And we, Ukrainians, will continue to work towards our defence, our victory and on restoring justice. Today, tomorrow and any other day that is necessary to free Ukraine from the occupiers,” Mr Zelenskyy said.

The president ended his address by thanking all those defending the country and promising that the Ukrainian flag will one day once again fly over all of its cities.

“The Ukrainian flag will return. Because this is our country. A free European country,” Mr Zelenskyy said.

He also mentioned developments in Ukraine’s bid to become part of the European Union in a post on Instagram.

“Today, we have taken another step — a very important and not just a formal step — on our path to the European Union,” he said.

“Ukraine has submitted the second part of the answers to a special questionnaire to be completed by each country aspiring to be part of the European Union.

“It usually takes months. But we did everything in a few weeks.”

Mr Putin on Monday blamed the West and Ukraine for the current conflict, telling the parade that Russia faced an “absolutely unacceptable threat” and warning against the “horror of a global war”.

“You are fighting for the Motherland, for its future, so that no one forgets the lessons of the Second World War,” he said.

The celebration in Red Square also featured some 11,000 troops and more than 130 military vehicles, although a planned military fly-past was cancelled.

Updated: May 10, 2022, 12:05 PM