The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, will give an ‘historic address’ to MPs on Tuesday evening by video link, it’s been confirmed tonight.
Mr Zelensky will speak directly to MPs at 5pm.
Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, granted a request to allow him to read a statement.
The embattled leader, whose messages in military fatigues to his nation and Russia have inspired millions, will be beamed in on TV screens in the chamber, The Mirror reports.
It is an extremely rare accolade not normally offered to world leaders, who normally deliver addresses to both Houses of Parliament outside the chamber, such as in Westminster Hall.
It comes days after he gave a similar address to EU politicians where he raised his fist in defiance and declared glory to Ukraine.
Speaker Sir Lindsay said: “Every parliamentarian wants to hear directly from the president, who will be speaking to us live from Ukraine, so this is an important opportunity for the House. Thanks again to our incredible staff for working at pace to make this historic possible address.”
Larger-than-usual screens will be installed in the chamber overnight, and more than 500 headsets will be made available to enable MPs to hear a simultaneous translation in English.
Last week, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK was given a rare standing ovation in the House of Commons as he attended Prime Minister’s Questions.
MPs of all colors turned to applaud Vadym Prystaiko. Amid emotive scenes in Parliament as the Russian invasion of his country continued, the show of support lasted for almost a minute.
Mr Prystaiko – who was pictured leaving Downing Street with Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier to attend PMQs – sat in a side gallery in the chamber. Applause rang out as Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle announced his attendance.
Sir Lindsay said: “Your excellence, we generally do not allow applause in this chamber, but on this occasion the House quite rightly will want to demonstrate our respect and support for your country and its people in the most difficult of times.”
News of President Zelensky’s Commons address comes as a third round of talks between Russia and the Ukraine ended. The BBC reported a Ukrainian adviser to the president saying there was ‘small, positive’ progress on humanitarian corridors.
Reuters news agency, meanwhile, said no agreement that ‘significantly improved’ the situation had been reached. According to the reports, both Russia and Ukraine agreed to further talks.
The UN human rights office says it has been able to confirm the deaths of 406 civilians in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. It said that another 801 injured civilians had been confirmed as of midnight on Sunday. The rights office uses strict methodology and only reports casualties it has confirmed.
It says it believes the real figures are considerably higher, “especially in government-controlled territory and especially in recent days”. Fighting has delayed its receipt of information and many reports still need to be corroborated. Ukrainian officials have presented far higher numbers.
Sign up to the MEN email newsletters to get the latest on sport, news, what’s on and more by following this link
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.