The speech made by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, on 13 March 2022.
Wise people of a strong country!
The 17th day of the war is over. War for the right to be free. For the right to live on our land the way we, Ukrainians, want it. Not the way someone came up with for us. And against us. Against our nature. Against our character.
The Russian invaders cannot conquer us. They do not have such strength. They do not have such spirit. They are holding only on violence. Only on terror. Only on weapons, which they have a lot. But the invaders have no natural basis for normal life. So that people can feel happy and dream. They are organically incapable of making life normal! Wherever Russia has come to a foreign land, dreams are impossible.
Only a very hard struggle for survival.
As a result of the attack on our land, on Ukraine, the Russian leadership is actually turning its state into an analogue of the so-called “DPR” and “LPR”. Into a large area isolated from the rest of the world. Where poverty will reign. Where everything will be determined only by violence. And where people will flee. In any manner they can and whoever can.
Look who is leaving Russia now. Who withdraws business. These are professionals who can be competitive at the global market. These are IT specialists who do not want to live in an area where there is no freedom. These are businessmen who feel that everything will be taken away from them at any moment. These are artists who know that creativity in a territory where human life is worthless is also worthless.
Russia loses its brains. Loses talent. Loses money.
But if this is happening to Russia, then what awaits the so-called “DPR” and “LPR”? Their analogues? Solely complete degradation.
The invaders in the Kherson region are trying to repeat the notorious experience of the formation of pseudo-republics. Blackmail local leaders, put pressure on deputies. Look for someone to bribe. They’re trying to organize the so-called “KPR”. Stillborn as “DPR” and “LPR”. To organize some “committees” against the legitimate government on our land. And against the will of the people who go out to protest every day. And who want Ukraine. I am grateful to them.
I want to tell some figures who lacked the disgust to refuse to talk to the invaders… I want to say – if some of them were suddenly tempted by proposals from the invaders… You sign your sentence.
The sentence is to follow more than 12,000 invaders who failed to understand in time why Ukraine should not be encroached upon.
An emergency meeting of the Kherson Regional Council took place. 44 deputies decided that the Kherson region is Ukraine, and no pseudo-republics have a place there.
Ukraine will stand the test. We need time and strength to break the military machine that came to our land.
I will not underestimate the threat. And I will not exaggerate the achievements. We are honest people, not Russia’s Ministry of Defense. Which lies to everyone – millions of its citizens and even the head of the Russian Federation. So I say frankly: we still need to hold on. We still have to fight. Every day and every night we must look for ways to cause maximum damage to the enemy. In all areas of defense. Near Zhytomyr and Kyiv, near Chernihiv and Sumy, near Kharkiv and Luhansk, near Donetsk and Mariupol, in the south of the country and on the diplomatic frontline.
Having such tactics and having self-confidence, we will regain what’s ours.
We will come to Melitopol and Henichesk. We will come wherever our land is. And let the invaders know. Let all the collaborators they find know. That Ukraine will not forgive them. Nobody. Nothing.
Ukraine will not forget. Ukraine will find and prosecute. Every single one. In any possible way.
By the way, all humanitarian corridors, which were agreed upon, worked. 12,729 people were evacuated. The humanitarian cargo for Mariupol is to arrive tomorrow afternoon. Due to the complexity of the route they had to spend the night in Berdyansk.
On every occasion, I constantly repeat to our friends and partners abroad that they should do more for Ukraine, for Ukrainians. Because it is not only for Ukraine. This is for everyone in Europe.
Evil that purposefully bombs peaceful cities… Evil that fires even at ambulances and blows up hospitals will not be able to stop at one country. If it has the strength to go further.
I said this at a very important rally in support of our people, which was organized in Europe. More than a hundred thousand people in the squares of Italy and other countries of the continent gathered for a rally in support of Ukraine and against Russian aggression.
Millions of people heard my appeal later thanks to broadcasts and recordings.
We now enjoy the greatest support in the history of Ukraine for our aspirations and our independence.
You can take a public opinion poll in any country and you will see that Ukraine is among the leaders of those who are sympathized with and supported.
And Russia is not just among enemies. It is even a bigger enemy, bigger evil than North Korea. That’s what Americans think, for example. Ordinary people in all states. As well as ordinary people in all European countries.
And I am grateful to them for this extraordinary support. Grateful for understanding our struggle. Because we are united by one dream – to live freely on our land. And we have the right to what everyone has in the free world. To a safe sky, as well as to our own land.
The world has always loved those who fight against evil.
It was our resistance, the courage of all our people that inspired the world. Millions of people in different countries. Who 17 days ago might not have felt what they all have in common. We all have. And now it’s obvious. Peace. Freedom. And love for our children. The children we are fighting for. For them to have a future.
I signed two important decrees.
On awarding 106 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who bravely showed themselves in the battles for the independence of Ukraine. 17 of them, unfortunately, posthumously. But they are heroes.
I – the decree on conferring the title of Hero of Ukraine with the award of the Order of the Golden Star to:
Senior Sergeant Vasich Serhiy Viktorovych. Posthumously. He bravely defended our positions in the Kyiv region. Destroyed enemy equipment and a significant amount of enemy manpower.
Senior soldier Parkhomuk Vitaliy Vasyliovych. Posthumously. During the counterattack on the enemy near the city of Makariv, he inflicted significant losses on the enemy and died heroically defending his brothers-in-arms.
Soldier Mrochko Kostiantyn Vasyliovych. Posthumously. He fought bravely against the overwhelming forces of the enemy. Thanks to his effective actions, the invaders suffered painful losses.
Soldier Svynchuk Oleh Anatoliyovych. Posthumously. He heroically performed his duty in the battle against the overwhelming forces of the enemy. He was helping his brothers-in-arms until the last moment.
Sergeant Khanin Andriy Pavlovych. Posthumously. Defending Volnovakha, Donetsk region, he destroyed an enemy tank and about 10 enemies. During the battle, when he was wounded, he helped his wounded brothers-in-arms and performed his duty to the last.
Sergeant Derusova Inna Mykolaivna. Posthumously. Since February 24, the senior combat medic has performed tasks in the city of Okhtyrka, Sumy region. She saved more than 10 servicemen, risking her own life. She died from artillery shelling by Russian troops, helping the wounded. The first woman – hero of Ukraine, who was posthumously awarded this title.
Eternal memory to all who gave their lives for Ukraine!
The title of Hero of Ukraine with the Order of the Golden Star is conferred upon:
Senior Lieutenant Hutsul Volodymyr Oleksandrovych. Thanks to his heroic actions in the Kherson region, 25 units of enemy equipment and about 300 invaders were destroyed.
Senior Lieutenant Chornyi Volodymyr Volodymyrovych. Thanks to his skilful actions during the defense of Volnovakha, Donetsk region, about 50 enemies and a T-72 tank were destroyed, as well as 5 invaders were captured.
Glory to all heroes!
Glory to Ukraine!