Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Italian lawmakers on Tuesday in a virtual address that highlighted the Russian destruction of Mariupol, describing it as being “like Armageddon.”
Zelensky’s speech occurred shortly after a call earlier in the morning with Pope Francis. He began his remarks by referring to his conversation with the Pope, saying, “I told him that our people have become the army, reminding him how much Ukraine has seen the evil that the enemy brings, how much devastation it leaves and how much bloodshed.”
Talked to @Pontifex. Told His Holiness about the difficult humanitarian situation and the blocking of rescue corridors by Russian troops. The mediating role of the Holy See in ending human suffering would be appreciated. Thanked for the prayers for Ukraine and peace. pic.twitter.com/wj4hmrTRGd
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 22, 2022
The Ukrainian president quickly turned to the deaths in his nation at the hands of Russia’s armed forces.
“There are now 117 children killed in Ukraine, this is the price of not stopping this war. And it’s not the final number. Tens of thousands of families destroyed, millions of homes abandoned, dead and wounded. In 2022 they bury the dead in mass graves, and all this because of a man’s decisions,” Zelensky said.
Zelensky compared Mariupol in Ukraine to the Italian city of Genoa to make the issue more vivid for his audience.
“The Russian invasion is destroying families, the war continues to devastate Ukrainian cities, some are completely destroyed like Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. It had half a million inhabitants, it’s like Genoa, imagine Genoa completely destroyed. Imagine your Genoa from which people escape on foot or by car in search of a safer place. O Kyiv, as important to us as Rome is to you. It must live in peace, a continuous, eternal peace, as Rome and any city in our world must have. But in Kiev every day sirens are heard and bombs and missiles fall, while in the surroundings there are Russian troops who torture, rape, destroy, take away our goods and our children. Things that last time in Europe were done by the Nazis. The Russian army has also managed to undermine the sea near our ports: this is also a danger for neighboring countries,” he said.
Zelensky argued Russia “will ruin more lives, more families, and the full-scale war will continue. Unfortunately, Russian missiles artillery is not stopping the bombing of our cities, all of the some of them have been almost destroyed completely,” adding that Mariupol is “like Armageddon.”
The Ukrainian president also challenged Italy’s leaders to stop their country from allowing the nation to become a “resort” for those destroying their nation.
“You know who brought war to Ukraine you know them very well. You know who is ordering war and who is promoting it. Almost all of them use Italy as a holiday resort. So do not be a resort for them. Block their properties, seize their accounts, their yachts from Scheherazade to the smallest one,” Zelensky said.
The Daily Wire reported on Monday that more than 10 million people, approximately one-fourth of Ukraine’s population, have been displaced within the country or leaving as refugees. The number includes about 3.3 million people who have left the nation since the start of the conflict.
“Among the responsibilities of those who wage war, everywhere in the world, is the suffering inflicted on civilians who are forced to flee their homes. The war in Ukraine is so devastating that 10 million have fled — either displaced inside the country, or as refugees abroad,” said Filippo Grandi, the U.N. Commissioner for Refugees.
Among the responsibilities of those who wage war, everywhere in the world, is the suffering inflicted on civilians who are forced to flee their homes.
The war in Ukraine is so devastating that 10 million have fled — either displaced inside the country, or as refugees abroad.
— Filippo Grandi (@FilippoGrandi) March 20, 2022