“Freedom will win,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said as he addressed Parliament during his first UK visit since Russia’s invasion.
He called on the West to provide fighter jets, saying: “Combat aircraft for Ukraine, wings for freedom.”
His plea comes as the UK announced it will begin training Ukrainian forces to fly Nato-standard fighter jets.
President Zelensky concluded his speech with the hope that he would soon be thanking the UK for providing planes.
Addressing a huge crowd of MPs and peers in the historic setting of Westminster Hall, he said: “Freedom will win – we know Russia will lose,” adding the UK was with his country on a march to “the most important victory of our lifetime”.
Thanking the UK for its “grit”, he said the country, through its support of Ukraine, had not compromised the “spirit and ideals of these great islands”.
He also singled out Boris Johnson for praise saying the former prime minister had united others “when it seemed impossible”.
During his speech, which was met throughout with applause, the Ukrainian leader gave the House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle the helmet of a Ukrainian pilot.
The writing on the helmet reads: “We have freedom, give us wings to protect it.”
Reflecting on his last visit to the UK, he recalled thanking his hosts “for delicious English tea”.
“I will be leaving Parliament today, thanking you all in advance for powerful English planes.”
Before speaking to Parliament, President Zelensky held talks with Mr Sunak in Downing Street, and later met with King Charles.