At @lmverlag we publish the war speeches of Volodymyr Zelenskyy in several languages, complete and unabridged. Why we do it? Because people should read them. You’ve seen graphic images of war. You’ve seen Zelenskyy on video. But along with the visual reality, there is the reality of words and ideas.
Reading Zelenskyy’s speeches back to back gives you a different sense of the war and how it transforms a people and a state. There are his appeals to Ukrainian unity and strength. His calls for Russian people to revolt, Russian soldiers to desert. His recounting of the bombings, of resistance and counter strikes, day by day, city by city. But also, tax reforms pushed through in haste, the struggle to deliver food and medicine, to evacuate civilians, to keep the state functional despite the war.
Then the countless speeches to foreign parliaments, a tour de force round the "free world” by its edgiest foot soldier. Pitches for weapons, money, a reconstruction plan, a new security order. Delivered with wit and warmth, and if necessary, a punch.
The early days of war were a reminder that to understand a tyrant like Putin, you better take him literally.
Here is the case from the opposite side: if you want to understand what the war means for Ukrainians, read Zelenskyy. A project made possible by a dedicated team of Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Czech, Dutch and German translators, editors and book designers.