A EUROPEAN Parliament translator almost broke down in tears while relaying a speech given by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The moment came as the leader of the war-torn nation spoke to the EU Parliament in a special session convened to discuss the bloc’s reaction to Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

The Ukrainian leader began his speech by declining to say good afternoon, “because for some people this day is not good”. “For some people this day is the last one,” he said.

Zelenskyy said he was happy to see all of the countries of the EU together, but he said it was a “very high price to pay” for such unity.

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“Thousands of people who were killed. Two revolutions. One war. And five days of full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation.

“I am not reading off a sheet of paper because the paper phase in the life of my country is ended. We are dealing with real people, real life.

“We are giving away our best people, our strongest ones. Ukrainians are incredible and very often we love to say that we will win over anyone … indeed we will overcome everyone. I am sure, I am convinced.”

Zelenskyy then raised what had happened in Kharkov, in the east of Ukraine near the border with Russia.

“Can you imagine two cruise missiles hit this Freedom Square [in Kharkiv]. Dozens killed. This is the price of freedom.

“We are fighting, just for our land and for our freedom, despite the fact that all the large cities of our country are now blocked, nobody is going to intervene with our freedom.

“Nobody is going to break us, we are strong. We are Ukrainians. We have a desire to see our children alive. I think it’s a fair one. Yesterday, 16 children were killed.”

The Ukrainian president raged that Putin (below) would claim to only be hitting military bases, asking: “Where are our children? What kind of military factories are they working at? What tanks are they using?”

The National: Vladimir Putin

It came after Zelenskyy formally applied to join the EU as the first round of Ukraine-Russia talks aimed at ending the fighting concluded with no immediate agreements.

Zelensky posted photos of himself signing the EU application, a largely symbolic move that could take years to become reality and is unlikely to sit well with Putin, who has long accused the West of trying to pull Ukraine into its orbit.

At this stage, Ukraine is many years away from reaching the standards for achieving EU membership, and the 27-nation bloc is expansion-weary and unlikely to take on new members any time soon.

Also, any addition to the EU must be approved unanimously, and some member states have complicated approval procedures.

Overall, the consensus has been that Ukraine’s deep-seated corruption could make it hard for the country to win EU acceptance.

Still, in an interview with Euronews on Sunday, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said: “We want them in the European Union.”

Der Leyen joined the rest of the EU Parliament in giving a standing ovation to Zelenskyy’s speech.