Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed hundreds of students at Canadian universities, including the University of Montreal, via video conference on Wednesday morning, urging them not to tire of the war and not to stop talking about it.
Updated yesterday at 7:56pm.
“Through your actions, through your interventions on social media, through your exchanges with your friends, through your pro-Ukraine demonstrations, thank you for making sure no one forgets the war. Don’t get tired of war. Dont forget us. Here’s how you can help us,” Zelensky said when asked by a Ukrainian student at the University of Alberta how best to help Ukraine.
Wearing a camouflage-style military jacket, erect and serious behind his desk, cracking a few jokes (he thanked the Alberta student for his traditional costume), Mr. Zelensky turned to his compatriots, visiting Ukrainian students in Canada, and pleaded they, not to do it, forget their homeland.
“Without you young people who have gone abroad to study, the reconstruction process will be very slow. So please come back Come back with the advanced knowledge you have acquired and with the will to live and build an independent Ukraine. »
Embassy belongs to Anastasiia Dombrovska and Anastasiia Soshenko, two 18-year-old Ukrainian students who recently arrived in Quebec and are studying Political Science at the Université de Montréal.
“Yes, we want to return to our country,” says Anastasiia Soshenko, a resident of Kharkiv. We want to use all the knowledge that we gather here and apply it in Ukraine. We want to build a new free country when it comes out of the war. »
“It is a great honor for us to take part in this meeting. It is of great importance, says fellow student Anastasiia Dombrovska from the Kirovograd region. Mr. Zelensky has become a hero in the world. »
Peppered with several relevant questions, the meeting was organized by the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.
Students from the universities of Alberta, Calgary, Prince Edward Island, Kingston (Queens), Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Waterloo, London (Western), Nova Scotia (Dalhousie) and Montreal participated.
In the introduction, Mr. Zelensky recalled his time in Toronto in the summer of 2019, when his country implemented several measures to improve democracy and the population was full of hope.
Things have changed a lot in three years and no one expected it, he noted. “In the summer of 2019, we built a country with transparent institutions, fair and honest rules, prosperous and free people. Today it is the walls of our buildings that are literally transparent because they were destroyed by Russian rockets and bombs. »
A University of Montreal student, Vincent Perras, who has just completed his bachelor’s degree in history, put a question to the President of Ukraine. “How do you think international institutions like the UN Security Council could be reformed to prevent further wars and aggression? he asked.
“All these institutions are important, but they need to be improved,” Mr. Zelensky replied. A lot has changed and today everything is faster. In this sense, international institutions can no longer get bogged down in lengthy discussions while people are dying, as they used to. They have to be very vigorous in their interventions to get results. You must be like 911. You feel bad so they come to your rescue. »
Mr. Perras, who will start a master’s degree in history next fall, was pleased with the outcome. “It was a great experience,” he said The press. You don’t expect a very intense dissertation in this type of formal discussion, but I found the answer on the speed of institutional response interesting. »
Speaking about this world that has changed, the President of Ukraine said that social networks and the Internet could be great tools to “close the distances between our countries” and “make the truth known”. “In our case, they were almost like guns because they allowed us to show the whole world what is happening in Ukraine. The information can sometimes be very powerful. »
But weapons, Ukraine still needs them, and Mr. Zelensky reiterated this in another speech. “We need arms, humanitarian and financial assistance, and we need countries that maintain permanent sanctions against Russia. »
- June 22, 1941
- On June 22, 2022, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recalled that 81 years ago the bombing of Kiev by German forces began. “Today we are still fighting for the same reasons, freedom and our territory. »