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Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a powerful address to a joint sitting of Australian Parliament today.
The essence of his address was to hold Russia to account due to the threat the country poses to global security.
Mr Zelenskyy emphasised Ukraine can push back against Russia’s attack, however, military and humanitarian assistance from Australia — particularly armoured vehicles — and other countries is urgently needed.
“If we can count on the support of the free world, on your support, on your assistance,” he said.
“We need it not just in a couple of months, we need it urgently now.”
He claimed Ukraine’s “dream is undefeatable” if it can count on the global community’s support.
Australia pledges additional $25 million in support
Mr Zelenskyy’s address came after Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged a further $25 million of defensive military assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
This funding will go towards “tactical decoys, unmanned aerial and unmanned ground systems, rations and medical supplies”.
It brings the total in assistance to Ukraine to $116 million.
Mr Zelenskyy thanked Australia for the ongoing support but continuously emphasised throughout his address for more sanctions against Russia and to essentially cut off the country.
“We can and should do more, we need more sanctions against Russia until they stop blackmailing other countries with their nuclear missiles… no Russian vessels should be allowed in international ports,” he said.
“We have to stop any business activity with Russia… we have to stop any intention of Russia to bypass the sanctions… We have to keep those who are fighting against this email armed.”
‘Unpunished evil comes back’
Mr Zelenskyy spoke of the MH17 tragedy in 2014 where a passenger flight was shot down while flying over eastern Ukraine, allegedly by Russian forces.
He said Russia has never been held accountable for this.
“Did we manage to hold those accountable who caused the tragedy? No, they are hiding in Russia,” he said.
“The unpunished evil comes back, and I would say… with inspiration. With the feeling of all-mightiness.
“If we punished Russia in 2014 for what they did… there would be no invasion.”
Russian threat of nuclear war
Mr Zelenskyy touched on the threat of nuclear war and claims Russian officials are threatening to use nuclear weapons on those who do not submit to the country’s demands.
“It has become a real threat to your country and people as well,” he said.
“The country which is using nuclear blackmailing should receive the sanctions that would show such blackmailing is destructive for the blackmailer itself.”