Volodymyr Zelenskyy – 2022 Statement on the Situation in Ukraine (08/04/2022)

The statement made by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, on 8 April 2022.

Ukrainians!

The 44th day of our defense against the Russian invasion is coming to an end. The 44th dark day. Russian troops launched a missile attack on the Kramatorsk railway station this morning. 38 people died on the spot. Another 12 people died in hospitals during the day. We lost five children. Dozens more heavily wounded remain in hospital.

This is another war crime of Russia, for which everyone involved will be held accountable.

Russian state propagandists were in such a hurry to shift responsibility for the attack to Ukrainian forces that they accidentally blamed Russia.

RIA Novosti reported that the strike on Kramatorsk had been inflicted when the missiles were still in the air. The day before, other Russian propagandists were spreading threats to all those who escaped from Donbas by rail.

All the world’s leading powers have already condemned Russia’s attack on Kramatorsk. We expect a firm, global response to this war crime.

Like the massacre in Bucha, like many other Russian war crimes, the missile strike on Kramatorsk must be one of the charges at the tribunal, which is bound to happen.

All the efforts of the world will be aimed to establish every minute: who did what, who gave orders. Where did the rocket come from, who was carrying it, who gave the order and how the strike was coordinated. Responsibility is inevitable.

I spoke about this today with representatives of the European Union who arrived in Kyiv. With President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell.

During the day, they visited Bucha and witnessed the consequences of the occupation. They saw how many people were killed by the Russian military. I appreciate the EU’s readiness to provide the necessary financial and technical assistance to document and investigate Russian crimes. I am grateful to the President of the European Commission for her personal involvement and assistance in setting up a joint investigation team to establish the full truth about the actions of the Russian occupiers and bring all those responsible to justice.

I am also grateful for the financial support – one billion euros for weapons. Plus today we agreed on another 500 million euros for defense needs.

I held negotiations with the Prime Minister of Slovakia and thanked for the unprecedented defensive and other support. For the warmth of Slovak hearts towards Ukrainian men and women.

We also talked with EU officials about further steps to force Russia to seek peace. I emphasized that the existing sanctions are not enough. The pressure on Russia must be increased.

It is necessary to introduce a full energy embargo – on oil, on gas. It is energy exports that provide the lion’s share of Russia’s profits and allow the Russian leadership to believe in its impunity. This allows Russia to hope that the world will ignore the war crimes of its army. We will not allow this. Everyone in the world who has the courage, like Ukrainians, to resist tyranny will not allow this.

Russian banks must also be completely disconnected from the global financial system. Not some of them, but all, the entire banking system of Russia. It is inadmissible that the greatest threat to global security is finding its way to global wealth.

In this context, I also evaluate the new announced package of sanctions against Russia.

I believe the softness with which some in the West still treat the Russian state is wrong. We know who is constantly trying to soften sanctions proposals. And we will do our best to finally make Europe understand: in any case, you will have to impose really principled and really strong sanctions against Russia. And not some partial restriction of Russian energy exports. Not some partial restriction of Russian navigation. We know everyone who delays the decisions. But I am confident that both these politicians and these countries will change their position under the pressure of all that Russia is doing against Ukrainians and against freedom in Europe.

I addressed the Parliament and the people of Finland today. I called on Finnish politicians to do everything possible to help Ukraine. I also reminded that the best way to stop tyranny and protect freedom is to provide Ukraine with the necessary weapons. The weapons we have repeatedly asked for from the West. The weapons that are available there. I will continue to fight every day, literally every hour, to get everything our state needs.

Russia’s war against our people may end in victory of freedom much sooner than many in the world think if Ukraine simply receives the weapons the list of which we have provided. Any delay in providing such weapons to Ukraine, any excuses can mean only one thing: the relevant politicians want to help the Russian leadership more than us Ukrainians.

No matter what, we will continue to protect our land and our people in any case.

Yes, not everyone in the world has found the courage we have. But we have powerful and principled partners and friends. Real friends who help Ukraine to really protect us. To really protect freedom in Europe. I am convinced that Ukraine’s victory is only a matter of time. And I will do my best to reduce this time.

By the way, we also talked today about the time needed for Ukraine’s full accession to the European Union.

Today we received a questionnaire from the European Commission. Finally. A questionnaire the answers to which will be the basis for preparing the conclusion of the European Commission on Ukraine’s readiness for EU membership negotiations.

Our Government will prepare answers qualitatively and very quickly. I think in a week. Next is the conclusion of the European Commission, which will be prepared in the next few months. And then there will be the decisions of the member states and the negotiations on accession.

I am convinced of our success on this path. I am convinced that we are finally close to realizing our long-standing goal. Ukraine will be one of the equals in our common European home. Ukraine will be a member of the European Union. A peaceful, sovereign, rebuilt state. We will provide it. There is no doubt.

We are also preparing for tomorrow’s mass event in Warsaw, which will take place within the initiative of President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau – Stand for Ukraine.

It is about the support for Ukrainians, for our migrants. All funds will be allocated for the support of Ukrainians.

Glory to Ukraine!