IN PICTURES: Ukrainian president Zelensky gives May 4th speech in Copenhagen and Aarhus

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday gave a speech broadcast by video link to big screens in Copenhagen and Aarhus.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears on screen to address people at the City Hall Square in Copenhagen
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears on screen to address people at the City Hall Square in Copenhagen on May 4th, 2022. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The events, arranged by Danish newspapers Jyllands-Posten and Politiken, coincided with the anniversary of Denmark’s liberation at the end of World War II.

Danes customarily place candles in their windows to mark the anniversary. Thousands gathered held candles at Bispetorvet in Aarhus and Rådhuspladsen in Copenhagen during the Ukrainian president’s speech.

Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

READ ALSO: Why do Danes place candles in their windows on May 4th?

“Today you celebrate the dream of peace and freedom that became real after five long years. The Nazis lost, peace and life won,” Zelensky said during the speech, which he gave in Ukrainian with simultaneous English translation.

“And we hoped it was the last war in Europe. But the war is here and it is gruesome,” he continued.

Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The Ukrainian president repeated references to the Danish custom of lighting candles, which he also mentioned during an earlier speech to parliament. He also said he was happy to have seen the Ukrainian flag flying in Denmark and thanked Denmark and Danes for their support.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen gave a speech in Copenhagen as part of the event, as did Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod in Aarhus.

Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The managing editors of Politiken and Jyllands-Posten also gave identical speeches on stage.

“Denmark was liberated because the world stood together against a barbaric despot and tyrant. It is that unity we wanted to manifest this evening towards our brothers in sisters in Ukraine,” the latter newspaper’s managing editor Jacob Nybroe said in Aarhus.

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Ukrainian soldiers to train in Denmark

Ukraine has accepted an offer to train soldiers within Denmark’s borders, Minister of Defence Morten Bødskov confirmed in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Ukrainian soldiers to train in Denmark
Denmark will train Ukrainian soldiers on its territory, the minister said on Tuesday, as it steps up its support to Kyiv’s army against the Russian invasion.
The Ukrainian soldiers could arrive before the year is out, Bødskov said, but declined to specify how many soldiers and where they might be based in Denmark.
Denmark isn’t the only country that will play host to Ukrainian soldiers in training — other EU member states are running similar programs, Bødskov said, and Denmark will contribute 130 officers to a training effort in the UK this autumn.

The Danish programme appears to be similar to that in Britain where the government in London has begun training up to 10,000 inexperienced Ukrainian military recruits since July.
“There will be training in Denmark. I cannot give more details but the Ukrainian army will be training in Denmark,” Bødskov told news wire Ritzau during a visit to Kyiv.
Like other Western countries, Denmark promised in August to send instructors to Britain to support the British initiative, with 130 officers.
But the preparation to train soldiers on Danish territory is an increase of the European Union and NATO member country’s support for Ukraine.
A Ukraine donors’ conference in Copenhagen of 26 countries last month pledged 1.5 billion euros in more aid for training and
equipment for Kyiv’s forces.
And Danes voted overwhelmingly in a referendum in June to join the EU’s common defence policy 30 years after opting out.
In recent days, Ukraine has recaptured several territories including dozens of areas in the northeast in a lightning counter-offensive against Russian forces.
As Kyiv pushes forward, the Estonian prime minister and Lithuanian president on Tuesday called on Europe to step up military aid to Ukraine.
“Ukraine is showing how the power of morale and leadership can be as crucial as pure military force,” Estonian premier Kaja Kallas tweeted after a three-way call with French President Emmanuel Macron and Lithuanian leader Gitanas Nauseda.
“Our focus must now be on increased and speedy military aid — this takes Ukraine closer to victory.”
“Emphasized that Ukraine needs weapons to advance in its fight against Russian aggression. Western support must be scaled up,” Nauseda tweeted.