Madrid, Apr 5 (EFE).- Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday made reference to the Spanish Civil War-era bombing of Guernica in his appeal to the Spanish parliament for stronger action against Russia.
The Ukrainian leader delivered a speech to Spanish lawmakers shortly after his address to the United Nations Security Council.
“We’re in April 2022, but it feels like we are in April 1937, when the world learned that one of your cities, Guernica, came under attack,” he told the Madrid-based lower chamber.
The bombing of Guernica, a city in Spain’s Basque region, was carried out by the Nazi German and Fascist Italian air forces at the request of Fransisco Franco’s nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and killed several hundred civilians.
Renowned Spanish artist Pablo Picasso famously depicted the atrocity in his 1937 painting Guernica, which hangs a short walk away from the Spanish parliament at the Reina Sofia museum of modern art.
Zelenskyy drew parallels between Guernica and the Russian shelling of Ukrainian cities.
“Imagine normal cities where over 100,000 people live without water, without food, without medicine because the Russian army has blockaded the city,” the Ukrainian president said.
“The worst thing is we don’t know how long this war will last,” he added.
“Ukrainian mothers are writing their details on the backs of children so that there is at least a small chance that they would be saved if their parents were killed,” he added.
Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude to Spanish companies that had dropped business dealings with Russia but called on others to follow suit, naming Porcelanosa as an example of a firm that had yet to cut ties with Moscow.
“How can we let Russian banks generate profits while they torture people? How can we let European countries generate profits while they destroy my country?”
In a follow up to the Ukrainian president’s address, Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez said Spain stood firmly with the Ukrainian people and condemned Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
He added that atrocities “like those in Mariupol and Bucha” were “war crimes that could not go unanswered for.”EFE