Speech of the President on the occasion of the Independence Day of Ukraine
Fellow citizens of Ukraine!
A year ago, I talked about how every morning of mine starts with a text message from the General Staff of Ukraine. SMS about the number of wounded and dead over the past day on the frontline. The numbers may be different, but only one message makes the morning good. Zero wounded. Zero dead.
Today is the 29th day in a row when the morning is really good for me and the whole of Ukraine. Yes, we face many new challenges. But today is 29 days with no combat losses in the east of Ukraine.
29 days during which Ukrainian cities and villages have not buried their heroes. 29 days during which moms haven’t cried. 29 days during which wives and children hear on the phone: “I kiss you, my love. I'll be home soon".
Recently, while in the east, I asked the locals if they had heard the news that we had agreed on "silence". They replied: "We do not hear the news. We hear silence".
And today, on the 29th day of truce, on the 29th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, we all ask God for only one thing - let the days of silence become months. Months - years. Years - centuries, and then millennia. Peace, harmony and prosperity for the Ukrainian land.
And we believe that this will definitely happen, because we send requests to Heaven from this very landmark. Sophia Square.
Here Yaroslav the Wise defeated the Pechenegs. Community meetings were held here and all important decisions were made. Here Hetman Khmelnytsky was congratulated on his victory, here the Act Zluky and the unity of Ukraine were proclaimed. Here, in 1943, the expulsion of the Nazis from Kyiv was celebrated. And in August 1991, the people's council in support of independence was held here. And today, returning to the traditions of our ancestors, it is here that we celebrate the 29th anniversary of Ukraine's independence.
This is a day when sixty-five million Ukrainians on the planet have a big holiday. Our mother's birthday. Independent Ukraine.
What gift would our mother Ukraine like to receive from us?
I think the main thing for every mother is the happiness of children. First of all, children should be healthy. Today we are doing everything possible to overcome coronavirus in Ukraine. We are provided with everything we need, we have established our own production, we are renovating hospitals and laboratories, and the most important thing we have is Ukrainian doctors.
They bravely fight the disease, they are our magicians and superheroes. And we must treat our doctors in the same way, be responsible, follow safety rules. And then the day will surely come when a joyful text message from the General Staff will be followed by no less joyful message from the Minister of Health. For the past 24 hours, the number of patients in Ukraine is zero. The number of dead is zero.
I believe that we will overcome the virus and will be "infected" only by football in the stadiums, music at concerts and travels all over our wonderful country.
I also think every mother wants her children not to quarrel.
So, maybe children should stop competing who loves their mother more and more correctly? Ukraine dreams of us being united and cohesive. And we can definitely make such a gift to it. We must remember that, regardless of language, religion, nationality, we are brothers and sisters. We are all children of Ukraine. And we should not give anyone a chance to sow discord between us.
To neither neighbors nor internal strangers. Those who have been robbing our mother Ukraine for many years, because they never considered it home.
Every mother wants all her children to always be at home. Unfortunately, today our family table lacks Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea. But we do our best for the day to come when they return. To a country they do not recognize. Which we are building together with you today.
A country that will be the first in Europe in terms of human happiness, not just in terms of size of its territory. Although we will not give our happiness or our territories to anyone.
A country for which the highest value is the life and health of a citizen, not the one for whom he voted in the presidential election.
That is why we fight for every Ukrainian and return our people. It doesn't matter to us: 131 captives from Russia and ORDLO, 14 civilian sailors from Libya, 45 citizens from Wuhan or 11 people killed, unfortunately, during the downing of a Boeing in Iran. And for one Ukrainian intelligence officer, we are ready to give a thousand others. Because Ukraine does not leave its people. And I will do my best so that every citizen of Ukraine in any corner of the planet clearly knows: I am Ukrainian, so my state will not leave me.
We are building just such a country! A country that is always ready to fight back.
And it doesn't matter who attacks: the aggressor, the virus, the global crisis.
A country where those who gave up part of the territory without a fight will give testimony, not preach patriotism.
A country where our people will want to return. Return by the good roads we are building today.
A country where there will be lively disputes only about how to name the rocket that Ukraine launches into space, and in whose honor to name the built corvette.
Everyone who is ready to help Ukrainians build such a country is welcome to join. A big request to others - do not disturb. You had many years to do something. People have rated you. Accept this and, please, do not hinder the country, which is moving forward.
We can only create a dream country together.
All 25 regions. We are all a team. A dream team from each region.
This is our national team of Ukraine. Where there are no "breadwinners" or "subsidized", because each region is strong and prosperous. Because everyone is important and irreplaceable. Because everyone is an integral part of the puzzle, without which it is impossible to draw a picture of prosperous Ukraine.
Who should lead the development of each region? You should. The owner of your land. Because Ukraine is you. Ukraine starts with you. All is yours. The home, yard, street, village or city, the region, and therefore the country is yours.
Feel that you are not a TV viewer, but a direct creator of a new country. Understand that Ukraine is diverse and multifaceted, where "a lot" comes from the word "wealth". Wealth of Ukraine.
Because Lviv's Rynok Square and Kharkiv's Svobody Square, Derybasivska in Odesa and Yavornytskoho in Dnipro, Artema in Donetsk and the embankment in Yalta are all Ukraine. Lavra, Sophia, St. Michael's Golden-Domed, the Great Khan's Mosque Bakhchysarai and the synagogue in Dnipro are all Ukraine. Poltava dumplings, Hutsul banosh, Transcarpathian bograch, Odesa vorschmack, Lviv syrnyk and Luhansk miner's cake are all Ukraine.
The Carpathian Mountains and the Donbas mine waste, the Southern Buh and the Siverskyi Donets, Synevyr and Syvash are all Ukraine.
We often say: the grass is always greener on the other side. No, we have to say: the grass will be greener on our side! We often ask: where is the ideal place on Earth? And the answer is simple: where you stand now.
We were lucky to be born in Ukraine. We just haven't all figured it out yet.
You know, when the Russian annexation of Crimea and the war in the east began, only then did we begin to take care of our own army and be proud of our military. When coronavirus occurred, it was only then that we began to think about medicine, notice the work and feat of doctors. When a forest fire broke out in Ukraine, only then did we begin to appreciate our firefighters and rescuers. Let's start noticing the heroes among us and appreciating each other right now, not once. Not "only then".
It is time to realize that our independence must be defended every day and by each of us. Someone - with a weapon in hands. Someone - with a teacher's pointer, and someone - with a medical scalpel.
In the open space of an IT office, in an underground mine, on the opera stage, in sports arenas or in a wheat field - we are all building an independent Ukraine.
Today, we will award those who increase our independence every day. These are our doctors, teachers, industrialists, figures of science, culture and sports.
And, of course, these are our military and defenders. People with a capital letter, thanks to which we stand here today. Thanks to which we have preserved our independence.
Today, Ukrainians will be able to sincerely thank and bow to all veterans and volunteers during their walk along Khreshchatyk.
And our military equipment is in the east today. And I'm sure that's the way it should be. Because tanks, armored personnel carriers, planes are not an attraction for Kyiv residents and guests of the capital. In a country that defends its sovereignty with weapons in hands, equipment should be not in peaceful Kyiv, but on the frontline. Where it is needed now. And that is the only way it should be if we respect our own army.
And we will definitely have a parade in the future. Ukrainian victory parade. When we bring back all our people and all our territories, when there is lasting peace on our land, we will make a big parade of all our troops and equipment. A parade, after which no one will even think of undermining peace in Ukraine, encroaching on its freedom and independence.
I always call on all of us to be united.
I believe that it cannot be otherwise. You know, I recently caught myself thinking - we have a lot in common, and there is unity even in our contradictions.
We are different. But equal. We are different. But we are kindred.
We speak different languages to understand each other without words. We are of different faiths, but we all believe in Ukraine.
They wanted to divide us, and we multiply despite.
We are not angels. But hell doesn't belong here.
We want silence that all of Ukraine will hear!
We are from the area where we do care.
We stand our ground because we are moving forward.
We can sometimes drink a bit "bitter", when it is not sweet in the soul.
We smile about sad things. We cry with joy.
Our "Mriya" flies to the sky so that God can see our dream.
We put the right hand to the heart to overcome the problems with the left one. We are Ukrainians. Look in the mirror and you will see all of us there.
This is us.
Independent. But it all depends on us.
Congratulations to you, fellow countrymen!
Happy Independence Day of Ukraine!
Glory to Ukraine!