Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told university students across Canada via video link on Wednesday that his country remains committed to democracy nearly four months after Russia invaded.
“We have already surprised the world,” said Zelensky, who spoke through a translator. “We have come together to do the impossible and we will prevail against all odds for a free and democratic future.”
The University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy is hosting the event, which focuses on how Canadian universities can help Ukraine during the conflict, which NATO Secretary General Jens said. Stoltenberg, could “last for years”.
Zelensky, who was introduced by Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of Finance, answered questions from students across Canada, covering a variety of topics. He explained how the international communities could best support the beleaguered country and what prompted him to leave public service.
“I wanted to share my energy, my strength, my experience, my openness,” Zelensky told an enthusiastic audience of students and scholars from across Canada.
While Zelensky said he was grateful for international support, including weapons, he said the information has proven to be a powerful weapon for Ukraine, especially through the internet and social media.
“We can reduce the distances between our countries and other countries, between government and society,” he said. “For us, the internet is a kind of weapon because we can show what’s going on.”
Showing the world the details – which cities have been conquered, how many casualties there are, how many injured – “means freedom”, Zelensky said.
“Information… can sometimes deal a harder blow than certain types of weapons,” he said.
Zelensky urged people not to “get tired of war” and to keep rallying their communities to action.
“We need weapons, we need financial support, we need humanitarian support and we need permanent 24/7 sanctions pressure,” he said. declared. “No matter how many times I repeat it, it will never be too many as long as the war continues.”
Students from the University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan, University of Montreal, University of Prince Edward Island, University of Alberta and University of Manitoba have connected.
They also connected from across Ontario, including Western University, Queen’s University, University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. Students from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia are also joining.