During a surprise speech to graduates of the Johns Hopkins University On Thursday morning, the Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky he told them to use the time and resources they have to pursue their passions and defend the democratic values at stake in the war with Russia.
He spoke via live broadcast from Ukraine, where the ongoing conflict has affected the future of countless young Ukrainians, robbing them of opportunities and loved ones, Zelensky said. He told Hopkins graduates to make the most of every moment.
“Time is the most valuable resource on the planet”, said. “Some people realize this sooner, and these are the lucky ones. Others realize it too late, when they lose someone or something.”
He also thanked American leaders for their support since the Russian invasion, including major investments in humanitarian and military aid.
President Joe Biden announced last week an agreement between the United States and European nations to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, finally fulfilling a long-standing request from Ukrainian leaders. Zelensky spent months pressing the West to provide his forces with US-made aircraft as his troops continue to try to repel Russian forces, with the conflict now in its second year.
During his remarks on Thursday, Zelensky described a recent visit to Ukrainian troops on the front lines, saying many have dreams and aspirations similar to those of graduating American students. The difference is that young ukrainians are forced to endure the collective tragedy of war before pursuing their dreams, said.
“You have to know exactly what you need today and how you want your tomorrow to be.”
The graduation ceremony was held at the school’s Homewood Field on the university’s Baltimore campus.
The university announced Zelensky’s speech with the ceremony already underway, just minutes before his remarks were due to begin.
“His appearance will come as a complete surprise to attendees,” said a press release.
Zelensky, whose response to the Russian invasion has made him a international Symbol Of Democracy, He said he is confident that future generations of American leaders will continue to uphold democratic values around the world.
University president Ron Daniels awarded Zelensky a honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities after his speech.
Daniels had sent Zelensky a letter asking him to speak at the ceremony, according to university spokeswoman Jill Rosen. In the letter, Daniels expressed his hope that “one of the great democratic leaders of our era would speak to the next generation of leaders, reinforcing in them the importance of holding fast to one’s principles and facing challenging moments of life with fortitude and humility.” story they face. he will surely face for years to come.”
(With information from AP)
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