President of Ukraine

We will not lose grip on our independence and will give Ukraine the strength to always prevail - speech by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Independence Day in St. Sophia Square

24 August 2023 - 12:34

We will not lose grip on our independence and will give Ukraine the strength to always prevail - speech by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Independence Day in St. Sophia Square

Dear Ukrainian people! 

Dear guests of Ukraine, our friends. 

Dear Presidents!

Dear Prime Minister! 

Representatives of the diplomatic corps!

Today we are all celebrating the 32nd anniversary of Ukraine's independence. 32 years of uninterrupted independence, which will endure. Which we will not allow to be torn apart. And which Ukrainians will not lose grip on.

Here, in the very center of our capital, there is a lot of evidence of how old the history of Ukrainian statehood is. Unfortunately, there is no less memory of how Ukrainian statehood was lost.

How Ukrainians had to fight for freedom and independence against invaders. How our people always had enough heroism and courage, but sometimes lacked unity. How Ukrainians had to fight against the invaders. How, unfortunately, sometimes the invaders managed to become occupiers. How they destroyed the lives of entire generations of our people. And how Ukrainians fought for their land and freedom for generations. And how they gained their freedom. How they prevailed. How they preserved themselves. Preserved Ukraine. And managed to make Ukrainian independence uninterrupted.

Dear attendees!

Please observe a moment of silence in memory of Ukrainian heroes of different times who fought for the freedom and independence of Ukraine and gave their lives for it.

Thank you.

Dear people!

We will not lose grip on Ukrainian independence. We are all united by this feeling.

We remember what the Ukrainian people went through. We see the threats. We are fighting the enemy. And we know what we are capable of. We are capable of winning! And we will prevail! Ukrainian children in Ukrainian squares and streets will celebrate Ukrainian independence in the same way. Our grandchildren will celebrate. And their grandchildren. Together with the friends of our state. With Ukraine's allies and partners. The ones Ukraine will choose for itself. Always freely. And there will never be any more pauses in Ukrainian history.

We will give Ukraine the strength it needs to always prevail. And we will be tough on anyone who tries to undermine, trade, or weaken Ukraine's power from within. And there will be appropriate legislative initiatives. In the near future.

We will cherish our unity. When Russia invaded with a full-scale war, there was not a single day that Ukraine lacked unity. And so Russia had no opportunity to use anything against us, against Ukraine. Everything is only for Ukraine now.

The world hears and supports Ukraine. The world's majority stands with Ukraine and helps. But no matter what happens in the world, Ukraine must be able to defend itself. Always. For a long time, our country did not have the necessary defense production, and now it does. I thank everyone who is developing them today. And we will create more. For a long time, the bravery of our warriors did not have the experience of using the world's best weapons, and now our state gives Ukrainian warriors such weaponry. And I thank everyone who helps us with it. For a long time, there were attempts to artificially divide Ukraine into camps to make it impossible for our country to join the right alliance. Ukrainian courage deserves to be in the world's best alliances only. Ukraine deserves to be among the leaders of the world. And it will be! Our country already guarantees common European security. This security is impossible without your strength, Ukrainian warriors. Without the potential of Ukraine. Without the freedom and labor of our entire country, all our people. Without Ukraine, our common European home can only be an unfinished construction project. And I thank every leader who understands this.

This morning in my address on Independence Day, I thanked everyone who makes Ukrainian independence so strong that it is one of the foundations of European independence. I thanked our warriors. Every citizen of Ukraine - everyone for whom citizenship is not just a passport. Those who work for the sake of Ukraine and our people. I thanked our Ukrainian teachers, medical workers, combat medics, volunteers, rescuers, sappers, firefighters, police, and power engineers. All those who support the morale of Ukrainians. Our talents. Everyone who produces weapons for Ukraine. Who provides transportation for Ukraine. Who prays for Ukrainians. Our farmers. Ukrainian businesses that pay taxes and create jobs. Ukrainian strength always lies in people. In adults and children. In everyone. In everyone who cares about Ukraine. About each other. And about independence. And it is impossible to gather all our people in one square to thank them. But today, here, in this square, there are Ukrainians who deserve personal gratitude. And it is an honor for me to present you with the state awards of Ukraine on the occasion of Independence Day.

Dear attendees! 

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!

Ukraine's partners are here with us today. Gitanas, Mr. President of Lithuania. A powerful friend of Ukraine. A defender of freedom. Jonas, Mr. Prime Minister of Norway. A leader who deserves to be a role model for other heads of state. Mr. President of Portugal. I thank you, Mr. President, for the truly heartfelt warmth with which the Portuguese people sheltered our people at the beginning of the war. Mr. Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the first time in Ukraine, but sincerely with Ukraine. East, north, west and south of Europe. Our common home.

Our Europe is indeed united by many things. But the key thing is respect. Respect for people. Respect for freedom. Respect for bravery. And respect for Ukraine.

Congratulations, Ukraine, on your Independence Day!

Glory to Ukraine!