Today we celebrate the Day of Dignity and Freedom. A holiday that shows that for us dignity and freedom is a holiday. The answer to the question of who Ukrainians are and what is most important to them.
I said these words in the same place on the same day exactly one year ago. What has changed since then? A lot. In our country, Europe and the whole world. But something remains unchanged. This is the answer to the question of who Ukrainians are and what is most important to us. Two values, inextricably intertwined, like the right and left banks of the Dnipro River. Like blue and yellow colors. Like Chubynsky’s words and Verbytsky’s music. Like two threads of a pattern on a vyshyvanka where our genetic code is encrypted. This is dignity and freedom.
We always remembered this and have no right to forget. We always valued this and are not afraid to defend this. We always knew what we wanted. And this year, everyone found out what we are capable of. Friends and enemies saw it. Allies and partners. We saw for ourselves. Someone - once again. Someone - for the first time. But all together we proved and continue to prove that dignity and freedom are a holiday for us. This remained unchanged. And everyone saw what Ukrainians are capable of.
Everyone saw what defenders we have. How to hold out against one of the greatest armies in the world and become one of the best armies in the world. Someone will say: it sounds loud. Yes. Our army sounds loud. For the last eight years. And for the last nine months. When hardened fighters are joined by musicians, actors, Olympic champions, IT specialists, scientists, businessmen. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who did not get on the plane, but stood in line at the military commissariat. And side by side they stood up for our dream. Free Ukraine forever.
And everyone saw what our civilians are capable of. Everyone saw what kind of citizens we have! How can you become a living wall on the path of the occupier's military columns, stop and turn around enemy tanks and armored personnel carriers with bare hands. Go to rallies under the occupation despite the gunshots and stun grenades. Preserve the Ukrainian flag and wait to finally meet the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Flood your village to prevent the orcs from entering Kyiv.
Shoot down a Russian drone with a can. Give seeds to the occupiers so that sunflowers sprout in the place where they perish.
And everyone saw what kind of doctors, firefighters, rescuers, railway workers, energy workers, and farmers we have. How can you be on duty for several weeks in a row. Pull dozens of wounded from the battlefield. Carry out surgeries under bombs and bullets. Sow a crop and gather it as a harvest under bombs and bullets. Give lectures to students online, in the trenches. Get a bachelor's degree online, in the trenches.
Everyone saw what kind of volunteers and caring people we have. How can you raise funds for drones, ambulance vehicles, optics, thermal imagers in a matter of hours. How to get everything. Buy everything. Bring everything. And then get, buy and bring again, because that wasn't all. And in every village, people canned borscht and stewed meat for the frontline, because we would go red with embarrassment if our warriors ate expired dry ration, like orcs.
We are willing to give the last we have so that the Ukrainian warrior looks decently. Fights decently. Wins decently. And everyone saw what kind of business we have. Not oligarchs, but a modern, creative, humane and responsible business. How to turn your office, hotel or gym into a shelter for IDPs. How fashion shoe brands manufacture army boots. Designers of women's dresses manufacture body armor. A garden furniture manufacturer makes anti-tank hedgehogs. A famous model cooks food for warriors and refugees. A TV presenter makes a "Bandera smoothie". A doctor of science sorts humanitarian aid in Poland. And an opera singer evacuates hundreds of people in his car.
Everyone saw what kind of children we have. How they give up smartphones and gadgets to donate money to the army. How they wash cars and sell drawings, collecting money for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. How a boy runs away from home to enroll in the territorial defense. How a girl with shot legs drives a car 15 kilometers to take out four wounded adults.
Everyone saw what kind of people we have! Willing to give the last. Willing to stand to the last. They did not lose dignity. Bravery. Faith in themselves. And they united. In order not to lose freedom. Not to lose independence. Not to lose Ukraine.
We can be left without money. Without gasoline. Without hot water. Without light. But not without freedom. And it remains unchanged.
Yes, we have paid and continue to pay a very high price for freedom. And we will never forget all those who gave their lives for Ukraine. And we will never forgive everyone who took away their lives and wanted to take away our freedom. But the main thing is that no one succeeded and no one will ever succeed.
I said these words in the same place on the same day exactly one year ago. What has changed since then? A lot. Craters appeared on our land. There are roadblocks and anti-tank hedgehogs in our cities and villages. It may be dark on our streets. It may be cold in our homes. There are many changes, but they have not changed the most important thing. Because the most important thing is not outside, but inside. And it remains unchanged. And that's why we will hold out. We will endure.
Everyone. Different. But Ukrainian men and women. Defenders. Everyone who knows: we must be worthy, we must not give up. Because Ukrainians are not used to giving up. Because they have dignity. And therefore - freedom!
This remains unchanged. We will overcome everything. Endure. Survive. Prevail!
And on the Day of Dignity and Freedom, we will gather on Maidan Nezalezhnosti. Where dignity and freedom have always been protected. On the granite, on the barricades during the Orange Revolution and the Revolution of Dignity. Where we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence. And where we will celebrate the Victory Day of Ukraine. In a peaceful Kyiv, in a peaceful Ukraine, I will speak about the important. About the main thing. What remained unchanged. And will remain unchanged.
Glory to Ukraine!
Glory to Ukraine!