There are moments in life when you need to talk openly, calmly, without haste, without being distracted by a mobile phone. Not to listen, but to hear. Not with half an ear, but with all your heart. When we all have to tune in to a single wave on the most important issues facing Ukraine today.
All of us, regardless of gender, age and status. It doesn’t matter if we live in a village or a city, on the shores of the Black Sea, Dnieper, Tisza or Siverskyi Donets. It doesn’t matter if we speak Ukrainian, Russian, Crimean Tatar, Hungarian or sign language. It doesn't matter who we voted for. It doesn't matter if we observe Lent or Ramadan, wear a crucifix, the Star of David, a hijab, or do not believe in any god.
We all need to understand what is happening and what we need to do. What is happening today? And what will happen tomorrow?
Let's start with the first. What is happening today? A large number of Russian troops are concentrated near our state borders. Russia officially calls it an exercise. Unofficially, the whole world calls such things blackmail. Does this worry us? Yes. Does Ukraine and its international partners demand that troops be withdrawn from our borders? Yes. After all, the Russian Federation constantly repeats that it seeks peace, but at the same time creates all preconditions for escalation.
Is it logical? No. But is it unexpected? No. Does this mean that escalation is inevitable? No.
Does Ukraine want a war? No. Is it ready for it? Yes. Will Ukraine stop fighting for peace through diplomacy? Never. Will Ukraine defend itself in case of the necessity? Always.
Our principle is simple: Ukraine does not start a war first, but Ukraine always stands to the last man.
What do you need to do? First. Realize that the threat is not only foreign troops, but also our emotions. How we react to information and where we get it.
It is worth thinking thrice whether you should fully trust experts from the Internet, "reliable" media sources, insiders of anonymous telegram channels. Rumors in the minibus, in the market and near the entrance. Rumors from acquaintances whose acquaintances have acquaintances in the Ministry of Defense and secretly shared secret information. And most importantly - whether you should trust the statements of politicians, for whom it is not your interests that matters, but your votes.
Politicians who are heroic commanders on Facebook and Twitter. Who shout that we must start a war immediately, but do not say that they mean ours, not their children. And the worst thing - politicians, for whom the victory will be the defeat of the country and the opportunity to say: we did say and warn.
Do we need to be vigilant today? Yes. Do we need to be afraid? No. Because Ukraine-2021 is very different from Ukraine-2014.
We are not afraid, because Ukraine-21 has no illusions. Understands who is a true friend and brother. Who is ready to lend a shoulder, and who can hit in the back. That is why Ukraine-21 understands all possible scenarios and knows what it will do in response to any situation. We are not afraid, because we have an incredible army and incredible defenders. Last week I spent two days with them on the frontline. What do they say about the situation? They are used not to speaking, but to doing their job.
They have quality equipment and weapons, valuable experience, courage, high morale, willingness to repel anyone and explain as clearly as possible that the passage or flight through our land is prohibited and impossible for unwanted guests.
Maybe they do not have something? Yes. Fear and disbelief in their own strength.
We are not afraid, because we have an incredible society that is ready for mass volunteer mobilization, that will give everything, find everything and bring everything. Anytime, any day.
We are not afraid, because we are a beautiful nation of beautiful people. Military, doctors, scientists, engineers, designers, IT specialists, architects, builders, farmers, artists, musicians, poets. We are a nation of creators, not destroyers. We do not destroy other lands and nations. But this does not mean that we will allow anyone to destroy us. And we are all ready to put away our laptops, pointers, microscopes, brushes, spatulas, rakes and shovels to defend our land. Because we have no other land. Because we are not going to run away. Because we are not used to giving up.
We are not afraid, because we have the strong support of international partners. I have spoken to the leaders of the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Turkey, the President of the European Council and the Secretary General of NATO. They, like all other partners, are on our side. They perfectly see the real motives of Russia. They are ready to support us financially. They are ready to impose more and more tough sanctions and adopt tough resolutions. This is right, this is necessary, and Ukraine is sincerely grateful for all this. At the same time, our citizens really need to understand what else the world is ready for. How exactly and by whom exactly will you help us if someone again ignores the borders in the center of Europe? Do you understand that Ukraine and the whole world that believes in the power and inviolability of international law may need much more than diplomatic concern. We may all need determination. Is the world ready to solve complex problems? Will it stop hiding from unpleasant issues in the event of large-scale aggression by the Russian Federation, including the UN Security Council, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Nord Stream 2?
Our citizens need clear signals that on the eighth year of the war, a country that is a shield for Europe at the cost of the lives of its people will receive support not just from partners, from rostrums, but from players of one team, directly on the field, shoulder to shoulder.
And I would like to address our northern neighbor separately. Once the President of the Russian Federation said: if a fight is inevitable, you need to hit first. But, in my opinion, today every leader must understand that a fight cannot be inevitable when it is not about the gateway and hooligans, but about a real war and millions of human lives. And that, unlike a fight, all sides lose in a war. And that you cannot defend someone by attacking. And that it is impossible to free someone by capturing. And that it is impossible to bring peace on a tank. To people who do not understand from whom they are being protected and liberated and why they can be fired upon and bombed for this. Including our old people who are still alive, who liberated this land from the Nazis and do not understand why their peaceful life, 75 years later, is again under the threat of war.
Ukraine and Russia, despite their common past, look to the future differently. We are who we are. You are who you are. But this is not necessarily a problem, this is an opportunity. At the very least - an opportunity to stop the deadly mathematics of future military losses before it's too late. Yesterday and today, at the meetings of advisers to the Normandy Four and the TCG security subgroup, the restoration of a complete ceasefire was discussed, but despite the support of all parties, Russia refused to support the general statement.
At the same time, a proposal was made to meet at the delimitation line in order to see and understand the situation as accurately as possible. What should I understand? I go there every month. Mr. Putin! I am ready to go even further and invite you to meet anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbas, where there is a war.
Glory to Ukraine!