kyiv, TUESDAY MARCH 8, 2022

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Excerpt from issue 135 of April 2022 of Hommes d'Afrique Magazine. Pages 20-31

Mr Speaker of Parliament, all Members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen, I address all citizens of the United Kingdom and all citizens of the country which has a great history.

I speak to you as a citizen, as a president, of a great country as well, with a dream and a lot of effort. I would like to talk to you about the 13 days of war, the war that we did not start and that we did not want. However, we have to fight this war, we don't want to lose what we have, what is ours, our country Ukraine.

The same way you didn't want to lose your country when the Nazis started fighting your country and you had to fight for Britain. Thirteen days of this struggle. On the first day, at four o'clock in the morning, we were attacked by cruise missiles. Everyone woke up, people with children, all of Ukraine, and since then we have not slept. We all fought for our country, with our army.

On the second day, we fought airstrikes and our heroic military on the islands tried to fight. When the Russian forces demanded that we lay down our arms, we continued to fight, and we felt the strength of our people who opposed the occupiers until the end. The next day the artillery started fighting us. Our army has shown us who we are.” On the fourth day, we started taking people captive. We did not torture them - we remain human even on the fourth day of this terrible war.

On the fifth day, the terror against us took place against the children, against the cities, and constant bombardments took place all over the country, including hospitals, and that did not break us, and that gave us a sense of great truth. On the sixth day, Russian rockets fell on Babi Yar – this is where the Nazis killed thousands of people during World War II – and 80 years after the Russians hit them for the second time, and even churches are destroyed by bombardment.

On the eighth day, we saw Russian tanks hitting the atomic power plant and then everyone understood that it was terror against everyone. On the ninth day, there was a NATO congress meeting without the outcome we were looking for. Yes, we had the feeling that, unfortunately, alliances do not always work properly and the no-fly zone cannot be applied.

On the tenth day, Ukrainians began to protest and arrest armored vehicles with their own hands. On the eleventh day children and towns were affected and hospitals too with the constant rockets and shelling, and on that day we realized that Ukrainians have become heroes, whole towns, children, adults.

On the twelfth day, the losses of the Russian army exceeded 10,000 people killed, including the general, which gave us hope that there will be some kind of accountability for these people in court . On the thirteenth day, in the city of Mariupol which was attacked by Russian forces, a child was killed. They don't allow food, water and people started panicking. I think everyone can hear that people have no water for 13 days of this situation, more than 50 children were killed. These are the children who could have lived, but these people took them away from us. Ukraine was not looking to have this war. Ukraine did not seek to become great, but it did over the days of this war. We are the country that saves people despite having to fight one of the biggest armies in the world. We have to fight the helicopters, the rockets. The question for us now is to be or not to be. Oh no, that Shakespearean question. For 13 days this question could have been asked, but now I can give you a definitive answer. It is certainly yes, to be.

And I would like to remind you of the words that the UK has heard before, which again are important. We will not give up and we will not lose. We will fight to the end, at sea, in the air. We will continue to fight for our land, whatever the cost. We will fight in the forests, in the fields, on the banks, in the streets. I would like to add that we will fight on the banks of different rivers and seek your help, the help of civilized countries.

We are grateful for this help and I am very grateful to you Boris [British Prime Minister Boris Johnson], please increase the pressure of sanctions against this country (Russia), please recognize this country as a terrorist state and please ensure that our Ukrainian skies are safe. Be sure to do what needs to be done and what is stipulated by the size of your country. Glory to Ukraine and glory to the United Kingdom.