Exactly 101 years ago, one of the most significant events in the history of Ukrainian statehood and national liberation struggle took place.
"The age-old dreams that the best sons of Ukraine had lived and died for have come true". This is a quote from the Act Zluky, which announced the reunification into a single, independent state and was solemnly proclaimed by UPR and WUPR leaders on January 22, 1919 at the Sophia Square in Kyiv.
In all corners of Ukraine this was met with enthusiasm and inspiration: at last there was a chance to build a united and independent country. Unfortunately it was lost. The ambitions of politicians prevented them from achieving true state unity. Unity not in words, but in deeds.
Soon UPR left Kyiv under pressure of the Bolsheviks, most of the territory of Galicia was taken by Polish troops. Northern Bukovyna was taken by Romanians, and Czechoslovakia took Zakarpattia.
It's been over a hundred years. Did we draw any conclusions from this story?
It teaches us a simple yet vital principle for Ukraine: only together are we strong.
As the New Year's greetings show, the theme of unity is sore for every Ukrainian. But in search of this unity, we again quarrel: "And how can we, so different and dissimilar, unite?"
Will we be able to move into the future without arguing about the past?
In today's world, the sense of nation as a whole emerges not only due to common traditions, culture and religion. There are also values.
Which are acceptable for every corner of Ukraine. And by which in the future Ukrainians could be identified in every corner of the planet.
Values of integrity and honesty. Good manners and tolerance. Values of freedom and democracy. The desire for economic welfare and prosperity. The desire to be wealthy. Values of respect for the law, private property and respect for one another.
I am Ukrainian. Because I live according to the law. Always ready to protect my homeland when needed. I am a role model for the post-Soviet space: in defense of my rights, protection of the freedom of speech, the rule of law, civil society, zero tolerance for corruption.
I am Ukrainian. Because I am a responsible citizen. I pay taxes.
I don't drive against the lights, I park properly, I never drive drunk. I care about the environment. I'm learning to think critically. I am Ukrainian - because we are the best in sports, science, IT.
I live a healthy lifestyle. I study foreign languages.
I support equal opportunities for men and women.
I respect the rights of representatives of all national minorities and all religions.
This list can be supplemented for a long time. And every Ukrainian must do this in order to be competitive in the modern world.
And for Ukrainians to become the best in the future. Yes, that's a dream. But a shared dream has always been a driver for us. The power we so badly need now.
To be strong, one must become united.
To become united, one must be strong.
Let's keep it in mind! Congratulations! Happy Unity Day of Ukraine!