The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Vladimir Zelensky's Victory Day Address

A masterful linkage, I think, of the usual theme of Victory Day—the fight against the Nazis in World War II—and the circumstances today.


You can also just read the English text, though I found the (very simple, yet I'm sure carefully crafted) delivery on the video and the occasional visuals added a lot, and there are English subtitles:

An excerpt from the beginning:

Can spring be black and white? Is there eternal February? Are golden words devalued? Unfortunately, Ukraine knows the answers to all these questions. Unfortunately, the answers are "yes".

Every year on May 8, together with the entire civilized world, we honor everyone who defended the planet from Nazism during World War II. Millions of lost lives, crippled destinies, tortured souls and millions of reasons to say to evil: never again!

We knew the price our ancestors paid for this wisdom. We knew how important it is to preserve it and pass it on to posterity. But we had no idea that our generation would witness the desecration of the words, which, as it turned out, are not the truth for everyone.

This year we say "Never again" differently. We hear "Never again" differently. It sounds painful, cruel. Without an exclamation, but with a question mark. You say: never again? Tell Ukraine about it.

I should note that, though some hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fought on the side of the Nazis during World War II, apparently about 4.5 million Ukraininian soldiers (of whom 1.4 million were killed) fought to defeat the Nazis. The Victory in Victory Day (which in Russian and Ukraine refers to the war in the European theater) was indeed a victory of Ukrainians, alongside Russians, Americans, English, French, and the other allies.