Zelensky Echoes Churchill in Speech to U.K.’s Parliament


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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky received a standing ovation after he quoted Winston Churchill and William Shakespeare in a speech to the United Kingdom’s House of Commons 8 March 2022, CNN reported.

“We will fight to the end,” Zelensky said through an interpreter. “We will not give up and we will not lose. We will fight until the end at sea, in the air. We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost.”


Extract from a speech given to the British House of Commons by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, 4 June 1940, calling for total resistance against Nazi Germany immediately following the successful rescue of the British army from Dunkirk.

“Turning once again, and this time more generally, to the question of invasion [by Axis forces led by Germany], I would observe that there has never been a period in all these long centuries of which we boast when an absolute guarantee against invasion, still less against serious raids, could have been given to our people. … There was always the chance, and it is that chance which has excited and befooled the imaginations of many Continental tyrants. Many are the tales that are told. We are assured that novel methods will be adopted, and when we see the originality of malice, the ingenuity of aggression, which our enemy displays, we may certainly prepare ourselves for every kind of novel stratagem and every kind of brutal and treacherous maneuver. I think that no idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered and viewed with a searching, but at the same time, I hope, with a steady eye. …

“I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to … ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government—every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

Sources: Grayson Quay, “‘We Will Fight to the End’: Zelensky Quotes Churchill in Speech to U.K. Parliament,” Yahoo News, 8 March 2022, accessed 1 April 2022, https://news.yahoo.com/fight-end-zelensky-quotes-churchill-211402255.html; Winston Churchill, “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” (speech, House of Commons, 4 June 1940), accessed 1 April 2022, https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/1940-the-finest-hour/we-shall-fight-on-the-beaches/.



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May-June 2022