Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky found time in his busy schedule to address Australian university students on Wednesday, urging them to fight ‘Russian disinformation’.
Zelesnky appeared via video link in front of a packed auditorium at The Australian National University in the nation’s capital, taking questions from students representing 21 Australian universities.
He called on Australians to stand with Ukraine and help by “standing for the truth and debunking the myth so masterfully and so skillfully fabricated by [the] Russian propaganda machine”.
“Russia spends billions on their propaganda machine,” he said.
“We personally know that the enemy has come to our land, but in different corners of the globe, which are far from Ukraine, they spread … information or policy that they haven’t invaded anyone and that works, unfortunately. And even after a lot of years of the war, people can’t open their heart to the truth.”
“Please share this information with everyone. Students and youth, by using social networks you have an opportunity to show the truth about Ukraine that will help us indeed.”
The crowd stood and clapped as Zelensky noted that he had contributed behind the scenes to Ukraine’s Eurovision victory in 2004.
His remarks came after he was asked how he felt about Ukraine’s victory in European song contest.
Zelensky told the audience he thought culture, sport and science held great significance in times of war, “Even more important than in the peacetime,” he said.
He addressed the audience on the 161st day of the war with Russia as his troops continue to fight against Putin’s forces.
The Australian government have contributed more than $388m in military assistance to Zelensky’s bloody battle against its hostile neighbour.
The audience erupted twice giving Zelensky standing ovations at the end of his appearance with Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, closing out the talk.