President of Ukraine

Such a war as Russia is currently waging against Ukraine cannot be the norm - President's speech at a joint meeting of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies of the National Congress of Chile

5 April 2023 - 00:38

Such a war as Russia is currently waging against Ukraine cannot be the norm - President's speech at a joint meeting of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies of the National Congress of Chile

Mr. President of the Senate, Mr. President of the Chamber of Deputies... Thank you for your words, for such a kind greeting.

I see our flag in your hall. Thank you for respecting our flag, our anthem, my country!

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Dear members of the National Congress of Chile, dear representatives of the diplomatic corps, dear journalists!

Chilean people!

Let me begin my appeal with a story. A story about a place where children drew.

Ordinary children, but not ordinary drawings... On the walls. At school. In the basement.

In the village of Yahidne in our Chernihiv region, where Russian soldiers turned an ordinary village school into a concentration camp.

They drove all the inhabitants of the village there. Everyone! To the basement. Children and adults. Very old people. Women and men. Less than two hundred square meters for more than three hundred and sixty people.

Maybe you haven't heard of this place yet. But I want to tell you about it.

To tell about the walls of this basement in Yahidne, on which children drew what any children in any country draw. Friends, relatives, their life, their dreams, football players, their other heroes.

The children tried to write the lines of our national anthem, which you just played here, the lines of the national anthem on the walls... And the adults kept count. Also on the walls. How many days passed in that basement and how many people died, unable to withstand such conditions. Their names are still on those walls. I was there yesterday, I saw it all.

From the third to the thirtieth of March last year, there was a concentration camp in Yahidne.

At the beginning, people were still allowed to go outside. One at a time. Sometimes. At least to the toilet.

And then they were deprived of this too - not a single minute of sun and sky. The darkness of the basement, crowding, dust and a bucket instead of a toilet.

We definitely know about ten people who died there. People just couldn't endure it. We also know about those who were executed later in the village, who went missing.

And I don't want to talk publicly now about what the occupiers started doing when people said that the dead should be buried.

It was hell on earth. The hell that came to Ukraine with the Russian army.

Perhaps somewhere on your continent, in some countries, there are still positive or nostalgic memories of the period of relations with the Soviet Union or of the Russia that it pretended to be after 1991... But now this concentration camp in Yahidne characterizes who we are dealing with.

Why was such mockery of people necessary? What could be the motive to keep the entire village in inhumane conditions in the basement for three weeks?

This is a fascism of the 21st century. It acts like that. This is a dictatorship. It does that.

And when we turn to partners for weapons, we turn exclusively for protection. And our warriors managed to liberate almost nineteen hundred Ukrainian cities and villages from Russian occupation. Yahidne is among them.

Many villages, towns and cities have gone through even worse torture. They were simply burned.

Imagine a once strong village, for example, Posad-Pokrovske, Kherson region of Ukraine, in which more than two thousand people lived, but now almost all the houses are broken. To be precise - 96% were damaged by shelling. Russia came there!

Imagine when there are fifty more such villages almost completely destroyed by the war in one region only.

Imagine a city that for decades was famous for its industry, its seaport... And now the city is dead. Killed by Russia. This is our Mariupol.

Imagine one of the greatest Ukrainian values, one of the greatest human values – fertile fields that have provided prosperity for centuries. In the south of our country, in the east as well.

Fields that are now contaminated by Russian mines. Often unexploded Russian MLRS rockets stick out of this land. Reminding that there can be no justification for the aggression of one state against another.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Chilean people!

We must liberate from Russian evil almost nineteen hundred Ukrainian towns and villages more!

It is for this reason that we created a coalition of countries that help Ukraine defend our national independence and the lives of our people.

It is for this reason that I proposed the Peace Formula last fall - ten points capable of returning security to Ukraine, and to the whole of Europe and the whole world - returning the stability disrupted by Russian fascism.

It is for this reason that we appeal to you, the Chilean people, for support.

Life has the same value everywhere. The highest value. There is nothing that can justify the destruction of the lives of peaceful people, the humiliation of peaceful people, the subjugation of free nations and the predatory attacks on other states for profit.

I am grateful to you, the Republic of Chile, for the principled condemnation of Russian aggression, for supporting the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly.

I am grateful to Mr. President of Chile, Mr. Boric, for the very important agreements reached on the participation of your country in the humanitarian demining of our land. This is what the 174,000 square kilometers of our territory, contaminated by Russian mines, need.

We are forming a global coalition to accomplish this and other similar tasks. And I am sure that we will fulfill them.

Burning cities and villages cannot be the norm anywhere in the world. Torture chambers, which someone wants to use to keep people in subjection, cannot be the norm. Concentration or filtration camps, where people are driven into... and where people die, cannot be the norm.

Such a war as Russia is currently waging against Ukraine cannot be the norm. And therefore, Russia itself, as it has become, cannot and will not be the norm. This is a fascist state, a terrorist state, an evil state. A state that deserves to be treated by the world like a criminal - quite legally and fairly.

Chilean people!

Ukraine invites you to join our peacemaking efforts. Your vote at the UN in support of the restoration of security and territorial integrity of Ukraine is always, always very important.

Your participation in the implementation of the points of our Peace Formula - and it may not only be humanitarian demining - will definitely add strength to the rules-based international order.

I invite you to support our efforts for world food security. This is something that depends on the joint actions of all countries!

Due to the fact that huge areas of our land are contaminated by mines or are in the zone of shelling... Due to the fact that Russia is blocking our ports and sea transportation in the Black Sea... The food market is destabilized.

We managed to unblock part of the supply. But the world needs more. Just so that market volumes and food prices on all continents are stable. You can be the leader of stabilization efforts from your continent!

Please support the efforts of the International Criminal Court, which recently issued an arrest warrant for the Russian dictator. In the case of the forcible deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia and attempts to destroy their identity through assimilation and illegal adoption. When relatives are alive!

There is no such crime that Russia has not yet committed while waging this war. 

And there is no such nation that could remain indifferent or neutral to such evil.

Because we are all people. We all want the children of our nations to be happy and safe. To study and enjoy life, not draw on the walls in captivity, in basements and camps.

I thank you for your attention! Thank you for your support!

May dictatorship always lose, and life always prevail!

Thank you!

Glory to Ukraine!