Almost 76 years to the day since Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s famed oration in Fulton, Missouri, a new Iron Curtain has descended around Russia as its president, Vladimir Putin, continues his deadly invasion of Ukraine.
Dramatic sanctions, airspace closures, and a voluntary exodus of nearly 300 international companies from the Russian market, including giants such as Apple and McDonald’s, threaten to cut off the nation to an extent unseen since the Soviet era, wrote the Washington Post.
In an address Tuesday to the British Parliament, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky evoked Churchill’s prescient influence as he channeled the wartime prime minister’s refrain from his iconic “we shall fight on the beaches” speech.
“We will not give up, and we will not lose,” Zelensky said. “We will fight until the end at sea and in the air. We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost. We will fight in the forests, in the fields, on the shores and in the streets. We will fight on the banks of our rivers…”
Zelensky, whose paternal grandfather was the sole member of his family to survive the Holocaust, compared the Ukrainian struggle with that of the United Kingdom during World War II.
“Just in the same way you didn’t want to lose your country when Nazis started to fight your country, you had to fight,” Zelensky stated.
Indeed, the president’s poignant speech seemingly struck a chord with Parliament.
“MPs all know when they go through the entrance to the Commons they are walking through the arch rebuilt from scarred stone damaged by World War II bombs,” wrote the BBC.
Zelensky struck an emotional and defiant tone while speaking to the British parliament, imploring the West to impose a no-fly zone over Ukrainian airspace.
In a video posted on Telegram on Tuesday, Zelensky suggested that “those who have not secured the Ukrainian skies from the Russian assassins” bear some responsibility for the resulting destruction wrought from the sky.
“It’s been 13 days we’ve been hearing promises, 13 days we’ve been told we’ll be helped in the air, that there will be planes, that they will be delivered to us,” Zelensky said.
As of Tuesday, the United Nations tweeted that some 2 million civilians have fled Ukraine and that 474 have been confirmed killed and 861 injured. However, the actual casualty toll is undoubtedly “much higher,” it reported.