Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy requested additional Australian military assistance and further Russian sanctions in an emotional address to the Australian Parliament Thursday, a plea that saw the under-siege leader express “extreme gratitude” for Australia’s existing, and continued, support. 

"Australia and Ukraine are like-minded not only in our thoughts but also in our longing for peace,” Zelenskyy said.  

Prior to his powerful address, Zelenskyy received a standing ovation from Australian parliamentarians led by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who, in an opening speech, promised the Ukrainian people they had not only Australian praise, but also Australian “weapons, humanitarian aid and sanctions against those who seek to deny [their] freedom.”

"We share an affinity,” Morrison told Zelenskyy. “For democracy, for freedom of speech, expression and press.” 

Likewise, Morrison announced that Australia would provide an additional AU$25 million in defensive military equipment to Ukraine and simultaneously impose a further 35% tariff upon all imports from Russia and Belarus. 

Morrison’s military injection comes on top of $70 million pledged in mid-March and a further $21 million on March 25.

The Australian Government has likewise committed $65 in humanitarian aid, which sits alongside a separate $10 million pledge specifically for children’s education, people with disabilities and those facing gendered violence throughout Ukraine.

Eight million dollars was similarly allocated to the United Nations Population Fund to ensure women and girls who become displaced retain access to sexual and reproductive health services. Ten million will go to the World Food Programme to address rising hunger rates. 

Global Citizen has joined European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to launch Stand Up For Ukraine, a campaign comprising a social media rally on April 8 and a pledging event on April 9.

Through the campaign, we’re asking artists, athletes, influencers and Global Citizens alike to use their voices so that world leaders, corporations and individuals will mobilise funding to support refugees all over the world.

Learn more and take action here.


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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Australia Directly in Powerful Parliament Speech

By Madeleine Keck