Free people of independent Ukraine!
And that says it all. Just four words, but how much is behind them today. On the 182nd day of full-scale war. How many symbols and meanings, exploits and losses, joy and pain are in these words. And the main thing is how much truth is in them. Our truth. Truths about our present, with which it is impossible to argue, because it is impossible not to see and not to admit. We are a free people of independent Ukraine. After six months, when they are trying to destroy us, we are a free people of independent Ukraine. And this is the truth about our future. Free people of independent Ukraine.
Six months ago, Russia declared war on us. On February 24, all of Ukraine heard explosions and gunshots. And on August 24, I didn't have to hear the words "Happy Independence Day." On February 24, we were told: you have no chance. On August 24, we say: Happy Independence Day, Ukraine!
During these six months, we changed history, changed the world and changed ourselves. Now we know for sure who is really our brother and friend, and who is not even a casual acquaintance. Who did not lose his name and reputation, and who worried that the terrorists would save face. Who doesn't really need us, but where the door is really open for us. We understood who is who. And the whole world learned who Ukrainians are. And what is Ukraine. No one will say about her anymore: it is somewhere over there, near Russia.
We started to respect ourselves. We understood that despite any help and support, no one but us will gnaw away at our independence. And we united.
We didn't have Hymars yet, but we had people ready to stop tanks with their bare hands. We were not ready to close the sky, but we had people who were ready to close their native land.
The Ukrainian people and their courage inspired the whole world. They gave humanity a new hope that justice has not completely left our cynical world. And it is still not force that wins, but truth. Not money, but values. Not oil, but people.
Even yesterday the world was not united. COVID-19 clearly showed: it's every man for himself. Ukraine has changed this in six months. All world history textbooks will have a section "Times when Ukraine united the world." When democracy grew teeth again. When tyranny receives an answer in the language it understands.
Someone said: Europe is no longer a player. Weak, disconnected, passive, sleepy. Ukraine cheered up the whole continent. Europe comes to the square. Europe is introducing tough sanctions. Europe unanimously recognizes that Ukraine is a future member of the European Union.
Big business realized that money still smells. Blood, fire, death. Corporations and brands are leaving the Russian market, and people have become more important than potential losses.
Never before in the world has public opinion had such an influence on politicians. Today, people dictate trends and rules of behavior to the authorities. It is a shame to be indifferent, inactive, slow. Being indecisive and too cautious is a shame. It is shameful to speak sluggishly, vaguely and too diplomatically. Not supporting Ukraine is a shame. And to say that Ukraine is tiring is a shame. This is a very comfortable position: fatigue is a cover to close your eyes. And today we hear from world leaders and ordinary citizens: we will be with you until the end, until your victory.
We always paid tribute to all the fighters for independence, called this day the main holiday, and the blue-yellow flag – a shrine. They put their hands to their hearts while singing the national anthem, proudly saying "Glory to Ukraine!" and "Glory to heroes!".
On February 24, we had to confirm our words with deeds. On this day, the second all-Ukrainian referendum actually took place. Again – the main question. Again, a decisive choice. But this time it was necessary to say "yes" to independence not in the ballot, but in the soul and conscience. Go not to the precinct, but to the military commissariat, the Teroboron, the volunteer movement, the information troops, or simply work steadily and conscientiously at your place, at full strength, for a common goal.
We have all changed. Someone is born again. As a person, individual, citizen, patriot, simply as a Ukrainian. And this, of course, is good news. Someone disappeared. He did not perish, he did not die, but he dissolved. As a person, a personality, a citizen, as a Ukrainian. And this is actually not bad news either. We will not disturb each other anymore. We made a choice. For some, it is Mariupol. For some – Monaco.
But we know who more. And we finally became truly one. A new nation that was born on February 24, at 4 in the morning. She was not born, but reborn. A nation that did not cry, did not scream, did not get scared. Didn't run away. I didn't give up. And did not forget.
This flag will be everywhere it should be by right. And in Donbass. And in Crimea. The enemy thought we would be greeted with flowers and champagne. Instead, he received wreaths and Molotov cocktails. I was waiting for an ovation, but I heard "claps".
The occupier believed that in a few days he would be paraded in the center of our capital. Today you can see this "parade" on Khreschatyk. Proof that enemy equipment can appear in the center of Kyiv only in this form. Burnt, destroyed and destroyed.
It doesn't matter to us what kind of army you have, what matters to us is what kind of land we have. We will fight for her until the end.
We hold on for six months. It is difficult for us, but we clenched our fists and bite our fate. Every new day is a new reason not to give up. Because, having gone through so much, we have no right not to reach the end.
What is the end of the war for us? We used to say: peace. Now we say: victory.
We will not seek an understanding with the terrorists. Although we understand the Russian language that you came to defend. And they killed thousands of people they came to liberate.
And Johnson, who speaks English, is much more understandable and close to us than murderers, rapists and marauders who did all this in Russian.
And we do not sit down at the negotiating table because of fear, with a gun to our temples. For us, the most dangerous iron is not rockets, planes, tanks, but shackles. Not trenches, but fetters.
And we will raise our hands up only once – when we celebrate our victory. All over Ukraine. Because we do not trade our lands and our people. For us, Ukraine is all of Ukraine. All 25 regions, without any concessions or compromises. We do not know these words, they were destroyed by rockets on February 24.
Donbas is Ukraine. And we will return it, whatever the path may be. Crimea is Ukraine. And we will return it. Whatever this path will be.
Don't want your soldiers to die? Free our lands. Don't want your mothers to cry? Free our lands. These are our simple and clear terms.
Free people of independent Ukraine!
We meet this day in different places. Someone is in trenches and dugouts, in tanks and BMP, at sea and in the air. Fighting for independence on the front lines. Someone is on the road, in cars, trucks and trains. He fights for independence, delivering what is necessary to those on the front lines. And someone is on a smartphone or computer. And he also fights for independence – collecting funds so that those on the road have something to bring to those on the front lines.
We meet this day in different circumstances, conditions and even in different time zones, but with a single goal – preservation of independence and victory of Ukraine!
We have united.
Happy Independence Day, Ukraine!
Glory to Ukraine!