The once divided Germany can understand why Ukraine has to fight


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky drew parallels between the violent occupation of his country by Russian forces and Germany’s painful history of division during the Cold War in a speech in Berlin on Tuesday.

Zelensky cited these divisions to underline the need for Ukraine and the country’s European supporters to continue fighting the ongoing Russian invasion.

“A divided Europe was never peaceful. And a divided Germany was never happy,” Zelensky said in a speech to the German parliament.

“And that is why you can understand us, the Ukrainians. You can understand why we are fighting so hard against Russia’s attempts to divide us and divide Ukraine. Why we do everything, just everything, not to allow a wall between the parts of the country. Our country should not be condemned to have its body torn apart by barbed wire for decades.

Zelensky also addressed an upcoming Ukrainian peace conference in Switzerland in his remarks on Tuesday, saying he hoped progress would be made towards an eventual agreement to end the conflict.

“We want to give diplomacy a chance,” Zelensky said. “Ukraine has never relied solely on the power of its weapons.”

Russia was not invited to join the meeting in Switzerland and the Kremlin dismissed the talks as pointless.

Earlier on Tuesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he hoped the conference could lay the groundwork for eventual talks that could also involve Russia.

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