Interpreter breaks down during impassioned Zelenskyy's plea to Europe - 'Fighting for freedom'

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read

An interpreter has broken down during an emotional speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as he told the European Parliament his people are "fighting for their freedom".

Addressing the EU in a live video link, the Ukrainian leader pleaded with European leaders to "prove you are together with us".

As he spoke, an emotional European Parliament translator struggled to interpret the words for English speakers.

"This is the price of freedom. We are fighting, just for our land and for our freedom," Zelenskyy said, causing the translator to be heard struggling to get through the words.

Read more: Video shows building engulfed in fireball after Russian missile strike

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the EU Parliament (EU Parliament)
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the EU Parliament (EU Parliament)

"Despite the fact that all lines to our cities are blocked, nobody is going to enter and intervene with our freedom.

"Believe you me, every square of today, no matter what it's called, is going to be called Freedom Square, in every city. Nobody is going to break us. We are strong. We are Ukrainians."

Concluding his speech, Zelenskyy said: "We have proven our strength. We have proven that, as a minimum, we are exactly the same as you.

"So, prove that you are with us. Prove that you will not let us go. Prove that you indeed are Europeans. And then life will win over. And light will win over darkness. Glory be to Ukraine."

Watch the moment building engulfed in fireball after Russian missile strike

KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MARCH 01: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY â MANDATORY CREDIT -
The Kharkiv governor's office is seen after Russian army's missile attack in Kharkiv on Monday (Getty)

European Union lawmakers, many wearing #standwithUkraine T-shirts bearing the Ukrainian flag, gave him a standing ovation.

Zelenskyy has remained in Kyiv to rally his people against the invasion, which has so far hindered Putin's progress more than anticipated.

As the president spoke, a 64km-long Russian armoured column was bearing down on the capital amid fears a frustrated Russian military leadership could launch and even bigger offensive with devastating consequences.

TOPSHOT - Emergencies personnel carry the body out of the damaged local city hall of Kharkiv on March 1, 2022, destroyed as a result of Russian troop shelling. - The central square of Ukraine's second city, Kharkiv, was shelled by advancing Russian forces who hit the building of the local administration, regional governor Oleg Sinegubov said. Kharkiv, a largely Russian-speaking city near the Russian border, has a population of around 1.4 million. (Photo by Sergey BOBOK / AFP) (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images)
Emergency serviecs work to rescue people after a Russian attack (Getty)

On Monday, Ukraine officially applied to join the bloc. Charles Michel, the chairman of EU leaders, told the EU Parliament after Zelenskiy's speech that the bloc would have to seriously look at Ukraine's "legitimate" request to join.

But he added: "It is going to be difficult, we know there are different views in Europe (about further enlargement)."

The EU has taken unprecedented steps in the war, including financing weapons deliveries to Ukraine.

According to the draft resolution and amendments backed by the assembly's main parties, lawmakers will call for the scope of sanctions to be broadened and "aimed at strategically weakening the Russian economy and industrial base, in particular the military-industrial complex".

The European Parliament will also urge EU leaders to be tougher on oligarchs and officials close to the Russian leadership