President of Ukraine

By supporting Ukraine, the world supports protection from war, because the source of aggression is outside our borders - Volodymyr Zelenskyy's address to the Federal Assembly and the people of the Swiss Confederation

15 June 2023 - 19:49

By supporting Ukraine, the world supports protection from war, because the source of aggression is outside our borders - Volodymyr Zelenskyy's address to the Federal Assembly and the people of the Swiss Confederation

Thank you very much, Mr. Candinas, Mr. Speaker, for your kind words about Ukraine and our defense.

Now, as we defend the lives of our people from Russian strikes and overcome the consequences of the terrible crimes of this war, including the largest ecocide in Europe, we need maximum unity. The unity of all those who share with us the key values - the value of life, the value of freedom, the value of law and the value of respect for every nation, every community and every person. When unity is at its highest, solidarity is also most effective. And when it is, life, freedom, law, and respect will definitely prevail.

And today I am addressing you to talk about this unity.

Dear members of the Federal Assembly! 

Dear people of Switzerland!

The soul of the values that unite us is peace. Peace! Ukraine has never been the source of any wars of aggression. And even now, although it sounds somewhat paradoxical, the Ukrainian land is a territory of peace, because the source of this war, the source and cause of aggression, is outside our borders.

Just imagine this... Every night, instead of going to sleep normally, our people check the news to see if there are warnings that Russian bombers are approaching the point of launching missiles over the Caspian Sea or elsewhere. This is more than 1,500 kilometers from our land! This is where the war takes wings. And when it is clear that there will be another Russian missile, another Russian attack, people immediately put their children to bed, for example, in a corridor where there are no windows and therefore it is safer, or go to a shelter.

Imagine what it is like to live in communities that border Russia. Our border - three regions - is constantly suffering from purely terrorist attacks from Russian territory. Almost every night and every day. Towns, villages, houses, schools, churches, markets, businesses - everything... They are shelled across the border from Russian territory with artillery or mortars, missiles  or guided bombs... This is death or the threat of death that comes to our land from Russia.

Hundreds of Ukrainian families have lost their loved ones due to strikes by Iranian kamikaze drones – Shaheds, dozens of which the Russians launch at our cities almost every night. Fortunately, thanks to the defense assistance of our partners - and we are grateful for it - we are now able to shoot down most of the Shaheds. But, unfortunately, not all of them... They take the lives of our people and constantly destroy our infrastructure! And all this is also death that came from Russia.

There is absolutely nothing in this brutal war that is taking place on our land that would make our land, our people, our Ukraine a source of war or the territory of those who want to take something from another nation. We are defending the lives of our people, our freedom, our independence, our values... Peace for Ukrainian children! It is to our peaceful land that those who burn towns and villages and turn everything they touch into black ruins came. It is from Russia that those who still occupy the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and cynically use it as a cover for the constant shelling of our cities came to Ukraine. It is from Russia that those who blew up the dam and other structures of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant came to Ukraine, causing a man-made disaster and a colossal crime against people and nature, and they did it exactly on the occupied territory…

Any unbiased view will confirm one thing - if war had not been brought from Russia to our peaceful Ukrainian land, there would have been no war. The source of evil and death is outside our borders. By supporting us, the world supports protection from war. That is why solidarity with our people is shown, in particular, even by those nations with which we had no meaningful relations before February 24, 2022, when Russia turned its hybrid aggression against our country into an open full-scale genocidal war.

I am grateful for every package of sanctions against Russia that curbs Russia's terrorist potential. I thank the world for every piece of weaponry that helps save people from Russian terror! I am grateful for every frozen asset of the Russian state and those individuals whose collaboration with the Kremlin has turned Russia into a terrorist state…

All this helps curb the aggression - weapons for us, ever-increasing sanctions against Russia that prevent it from adapting to the world's pressure, and justice for Ukrainians and the world. Justice, which we are bringing closer by establishing the Tribunal for Russian aggression.

I am grateful to you, Switzerland, for not remaining indifferent to the suffering that Russia is bringing to our land with its aggression. You supported the joint European sanctions against Russia, and this is an important solidarity, because sanctions bring the end of this aggression closer. They should be intensified.

I know that you are having a discussion about permits to re-export weapons to protect Ukraine. And I want every participant in the discussion to remember one fact: we are asking the world for weapons to make our Ukrainian territory a territory of peace again. All our land, all our people... Only for this! Exactly as envisaged by international law. Exactly as Mr. Speaker said at the beginning: a rules-based international order must guarantee freedom for every nation.

We are not a source of aggression, not a territory of war, and not some kind of conflict zone. We are a country that has always valued and will always value peace, and you know it. Our peace can only withstand such aggression by force of arms.

Last year, in the autumn, at the G19 Summit, I presented the Ukrainian Peace Formula. Different states and leaders are already involved in efforts to implement the Formula. It is designed so that everyone in the world can choose the component of restoring peace and security they can help implement most effectively. There are partners who have chosen radiation and food security. There are partners who are ready to help with the return of children who have been deported to the aggressor's territory by the Russian occupiers and are being kept away from their families and Ukraine. Thousands and thousands of children stolen by Russia! We must bring them all home, back to Ukraine. There are partners who are ready to help with the restoration of justice and protection from ecocide and mine clearance…

In March, in our conversation with Mr. President of Switzerland, Mr. Berset, I presented the points of the Peace Formula and our approach to its implementation. And now I invite all of you, ladies and gentlemen, all of you, Switzerland, to join the preparation of the Global Peace Summit and show your leadership in the part of the Formula where you consider your national experience to be most useful for the world and peace.

And one more thing.

The world has gone through various wars, and the more wars destroyed life, the greater was the understanding that defense against aggression and prevention of aggression require collective efforts and solidarity. We are now defending ourselves against aggression that replicates the worst wars of the past and seeks the best technologies of our time to terrorize people, states, and even continents. Nothing but unity can stop it. In particular, our unity!

Thank you, Switzerland! 

Thank you for your attention!

Glory to Ukraine!