President Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated Ukrainians on the country’s 31st Independence Day. The video address was recorded in the center of the Ukrainian capital, on Maidan Nezalezhnosti. The video was released by the President’s Office.

“The free people of independent Ukraine! Six months ago, Russia declared war on us. On 24 February, entire Ukraine heard explosions and gunshots. And on 24 August, it wasn’t supposed to hear the words ‘Happy Independence Day.’ On 24 February, we were told you have no chance. On 24 August, we say,’ Happy Independence Day, Ukraine!’ During these six months, we changed history, changed the world, and changed ourselves. Now we know for sure who is really our brother and friend, and who is not even a casual acquaintance. Who did not lose his name and reputation, and who worried for the terrorists to save face. Who doesn’t really need us, and where the door is really open for us. We understood who is who. And the whole world learned who Ukrainians are. What Ukraine is. No one will say about it anymore: it is somewhere over there, near Russia,” the President said.

According to him, the Ukrainians started to respect themselves, understood that no one but themselves would fight for independence, and be united.

The Ukrainian people and their courage inspired the whole world, gave humanity a new hope that “justice has not completely left our cynical world.” And today, the world leaders and ordinary citizens say that they will stand with Ukraine until the end, until its victory.

“The enemy thought we would greet them with flowers and champagne. Instead, they received wreaths and Molotov cocktails. They were waiting for an ovation but hears ‘bursts’,” the Head of State said.

He stressed that it did not matter to the Ukrainians what kind of army the occupiers had, what mattered was the Ukrainian land for which the people of Ukraine would fight until the end. Having gone through so much, we have no right not to reach the end.

“What is the end of the war for us? We used to say peace. Now we say victory. We will not seek an understanding with the terrorists. Although we understand the Russian language that you came to defend and killed thousands of people you came to liberate. Johnson, who speaks English, is much more understandable and close to us than murderers, rapists, and looters who did that in Russian,” the President underscored.

He added that Ukraine would not sit down at the negotiating table because of fear, with a gun pointed at its head. “For us, the most terrible iron is not missiles, aircraft, and tanks but shackles. Not trenches but fetters. And we will put our hands up only once – when we will celebrate our victory. The whole of Ukraine,” the Head of State summed up.

Bohdan Marusyak

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