The statement made by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, on 9 March 2022.
Europeans! Ukrainians! Mariupol residents!
Today is the day that defines everything. Defines who is on whose side. Russian bombs fell on a hospital and maternity hospital in Mariupol. Children’s hospital. Maternity hospital that is functioning! Buildings are destroyed. As of now, there are 17 wounded. Disassembly of the debris is still ongoing. People began to hide from the air threat in time.
From 500 kg aviation bombs dropped by the invaders on Ukrainian cities. Many times already.
Children’s hospital. Maternity hospital. What did they threaten the Russian Federation with? What kind of country is this – the Russian Federation, which is afraid of hospitals and maternity hospitals and destroys them? Were there little Banderivtsi? Or were pregnant women going to fire at Rostov? Did someone in the maternity hospital abuse Russian-speakers? What was that? Was it the denazification of the hospital?
It is beyond atrocities already. Everything that the invaders are doing to Mariupol is beyond atrocities already. Europeans! Ukrainians! Mariupol residents! Today, we must be united in condemning this war crime of Russia, which reflects all the evil that the invaders brought to our land.
All destroyed cities. What they did to Volnovakha, Kharkiv, Izyum, Okhtyrka, Chernihiv, Borodyanka, Hostomel, Zhytomyr and dozens of other Ukrainian cities, which never posed any threat to the Russian Federation.
Destroyed hospitals. Destroyed schools, churches, houses. And all the people killed. All the children killed.
The air bomb on the maternity hospital is the final proof. Proof that the genocide of Ukrainians is taking place.
Europeans! You won’t be able to say that you didn’t see what happened to Ukrainians, what happened to Mariupol residents. You saw. You know.
Therefore, you must increase sanctions against Russia so that it no longer has any opportunity to continue this genocide.
You must put pressure on Russia to force it to sit down at the negotiating table and end this brutal war.
Moscow knows very well that Mariupol is also the Donetsk region. We have heard so much from Russia about the inhabitants of the Donetsk region. So many accusations, so many demands… And now we see how Russia actually treats the residents of the Donetsk region. Treats ordinary people who live in the houses of Mariupol, work at the enterprises of the city of Mariupol, are treated in hospitals of Mariupol and give birth to children, imagine, people like you give birth to children in the maternity hospitals of Mariupol.
We have not done and never would have done anything similar to this war crime to any of the cities of the Donetsk, Luhansk or any other region. To any of the cities on earth. Because we are people. And you?
I spoke today with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. We also worked and spoke with Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson. Thank you for your support, Boris.
The partners are fully informed about what is happening in our Mariupol. And about the situation in all other regions of Ukraine, where hostilities continue. We are working to make Russia feel the consequences of its actions. We are doing everything to finally secure our sky. I am grateful to the vast majority of Ukrainians who support this position. Those who collect signatures, who convince their acquaintances in the West, write on social networks, organize rallies.
Together we must return courage to some Western leaders. So that they finally do what they had to do on the first day of the invasion. Either close the Ukrainian sky from Russian missiles and bombs, or give us fighter jets so that we can do everything ourselves. A pause without a decision has become simply deadly.
Today we managed to organize the work of three humanitarian corridors. From the city of Sumy, from the cities and towns of the Kyiv region and from Enerhodar.
In total, about 35,000 people were rescued. We will continue tomorrow. We are preparing six corridors. We pray that people will be taken out of Mariupol, Izyum, Volnovakha, etc. Taken to safe cities of our free Ukraine.
And I am sure that every Ukrainian whose help these people need will do everything possible to make them feel our care. Until they can return home.
And finally. Every year on March 9, the winners of the Shevchenko Prize are announced. Our national award for the most significant contribution to the preservation and development of the Ukrainian spirit, our national culture.
I believe that our traditions must be observed during martial law and the fierce battles for our freedom. We must not betray them so that we preserve all ours, Ukrainian, completely while we are heading to victory. While we are heading to peace.
The decree was signed. Now I look forward to meeting the winners. But after the victory. After the victory of Ukraine.
Glory to Ukraine!