Taoiseach calls Putin "an evil man" as Late Late Show raises €2m in Ukraine fundraiser
"He's an evil man as far as I'm concerned."
Friday night's Late Late Show was a difficult watch as RTÉ aimed to raise much-needed funds for the conflict in Ukraine.
Not only did viewers there and at home get emotional, but Ryan Tubridy himself found it hard to hold back the tears as he discussed the devastating impacts that the invasion has seen.
Speaking specifically about the deaths of two young Ukrainian siblings, 10-year-old Polina - who died after her parent's car was hit in Kyiv - and her five-year-old brother Seymon - who sadly passed away yesterday after spending 72 hours in hospital after the attack, Ryan was visibly upset.
"The little girl Polina... she had the little pink run in her hair," he said.
"She just reminded me... of my own [daughters] where they're on the cusp of life.
"And I just saw before I came in tonight, her little brother died of injuries from that."
Opening the show, Ryan gave a powerful speech showing his support for Ukraine.
"Tonight, we stand with Ukraine," he said.
"With the million lost souls chased from their homes by Putin's missiles leaving their lives behind in the rubble.
"We stand tonight with the millions still inside Ukraine who are hunkering down now in hospital basements - they're in underground car parks, cellars, some of them are in sewers.
"And they have yet another night of long terror ahead of them.
"We stand against wanton aggression, against the blind violence that desires only to threaten the stability of a democratic Europe."
Ryan was joined by Micheál Martin for a fundraising appeal for The Red Cross on the show, which saw over €2 million being raised.
During the night, the Taoiseach said he has never met Russian President Vladimir Putin but stated he does not think much of him.
"I get very angry when I think about him," he revealed.
"He's an evil man as far as I'm concerned.
"Absolutely, dangerous and doing untold damage to people... to the people of Ukraine but also changing fundamentally the multilateral rules-based order that we all adhere to and cherish so much."
At the end of the show, the programme revealed that €2.2 million had been raised for the fundraiser.
"Once again, the Irish people have shown their overwhelming generosity. We cannot thank you enough," it said.
A total of over €2,200,000 raised tonight for the Ukraine Crisis Appeal. Once again, the Irish people have shown their overwhelming generosity. We cannot thank you enough 🇺🇦🇮🇪 #latelate
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) March 4, 2022
Main image via The Late Late Show