However, a video showing a member of the Azov Battalion, which was broadcast to Greek lawmakers right after Zelenskyy’s speech, has triggered some reactions in Athens.
“I have been waking up every day for more than a month thinking about Mariupol, which is being destroyed by Russian troops,” the Ukrainian president said.
“There are still 100,000 people on the border with Mariupol. There is no building left. Mariupol has been destroyed,” Zelenskyy added.
He stressed that “Ukraine is one of the Orthodox countries that was Christianised by the Greeks. In Ukrainian culture and history it will be seen that we will lose a big part of history if we lose the culture brought by Greek culture”.
“Freedom or Death was what your revolutionaries were saying. We are shouting the same today,” the Ukrainian president said, referring to the Greek Revolution of 1821.
“The suffering in both the Greek and Ukrainian communities is great from the barbarity against the civilian population,” Zelenskyy told lawmakers.
He also mentioned the Filiki Etaireia, a Hellenic underground organization founded in Odessa that set the foundations for the Hellenic Revolution and the creation of the modern Hellenic state.
“The Filiki Etaireia was formed here and this is of great importance. We could create a new Filiki Etaireia to fight, to save Ukraine and the [ethnic] Greek population. Mariupol needs your immediate support,” he said.
Zelenskyy also thanked Greece for the sanctions it imposed on Russia along with the other EU member-states, but added that Ukraine continues to be destroyed and reiterated calls for all EU countries to reject Russian oil and completely block Russian banks from the international finance system.
“We must close the door on Russian banks. No Russian ship should approach European ports. No acceptance on Russian tankers. With the money Russia earns, it destroys our cities,” he said, emphasising also the need for weapons, anti-aircraft equipment and armour.
Lawmakers from the biggest parties, ruling New Democracy (EPP), Syriza (EU Left) and socialists (Pasok) attended Zelenskyy’s speech, while communists and the populist Greek Solution party abstained. Diem25, Yiannis Varoufakis’s leftist party, was represented by just one lawmaker.
Although all lawmakers present hailed the Ukrainian president’s speech expressing their support for Ukraine, a video message to parliament showing a member of the Azov Battalion describing the disaster of Mariupol overshadowed the event.
The soldier in the video message said:
“I was born in Mariupol, and I take part in the defence of the city from the Russian Nazis. I will not talk about the difficulties we have in defence, participating through the Azov Battalion. This is my debt to my city, my debt as a man and I must talk about the catastrophic conditions in which the Greek Mariupol is experiencing.”
Mitsotakis issued a statement saying “Europe is called upon to immediately put out the fire of war that ignited in the heart of the Russian regime. The heinous crimes that were committed must be punished”.
Government spokesperson said:
...it is outrageous and dishonest for a section of the opposition, led by Mr. Tsipras, to use this mistake to justify the Russian invasion once again. An invasion that causes civilian executions and humanitarian destruction. If something is a shame that is to not take a clear position”
Well done for demolishing Russian propaganda myths, this man is not a neo-nazi and neither are those fighting for their own homes and families.
Reality does not care about memes. These "neo-nazi" Russian myths need to be totally destroyed.
...take your common sense with you, and leave your prejudices behind...