Volodymyr Zelenskyy – 2022 Statement on the Situation in Ukraine (16/03/2022)

The statement made by Volodymyr Zelenskky, the President of Ukraine, on 16 March 2022.

Ukrainians!

Our defenders!

We are stepping up work to bring the invaders to justice. There must be an international tribunal. And it will be. For everything they did against Ukraine. Against our people. For every act of terrorism of Russian troops on the territory of our state.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine and law enforcement agencies have already started this work. The launch of the activity of the investigative group of the International Criminal Court in Ukraine is also important, which together with our law enforcement officers is already collecting all the evidence, collecting the facts of war crimes of the invaders on the territory of our state. So that they receive the legal answer – legal and concrete.

I spoke with Karim Khan, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He is already in Ukraine, he has already started working. Therefore, the invaders will be responsible for all war crimes against Ukrainians.

Last night, Russian troops continued shelling Ukrainian territory, our peaceful cities, our citizens. Kharkiv and the region… They bombed the coast of the Odesa region. They fired missiles at Kyiv. Hit civilian infrastructure of Zaporizhzhia.

As of this morning, 103 children have been killed.

Russian troops have now inflicted hundreds of times more damage on Ukraine than on Donbas in eight years of war. And the territories of Donbas, border regions in the Russian direction, Kyiv region and the south of Ukraine suffered the most. The most affected areas are those that Russian propagandists have always spoken of as the place of residence of people especially close to Russia.

Apparently, there are no non-nuclear weapons that the invaders have not yet used against our civilians. That’s their closeness. That’s their friendship. That’s, as they said in Moscow, “a divided nation.”

A total of 400 educational institutions have been destroyed in Ukraine to date, the largest number is in the Donetsk region – 119. In Mariupol, the invaders seized a hospital, a regional intensive care hospital. Already damaged by Russian bombs. Patients and doctors are in captivity. Residents of neighboring houses were forced to go inside the hospital as well. More than 400 people are hostages!

And the invaders are using the hospital as a firing position to shell the city.

This regular crime of the Russian military against Mariupol is no different from Basayev’s seizure of the hospital in Budyonnovsk. Although… It is different. Now it’s even more treacherous.

Last night, the invaders took hostage six people in the Bucha City Council.

A Ukrainian rescuer who was captured in an agreed humanitarian corridor is being held hostage! The mayors of several of our cities, activists, a journalist are being held hostage… The Russian state has become an outspoken terrorist. And it is not ashamed. But it will be responsible for everything.

The world is already beginning to understand that without the recognition of Russia as a terrorist state, it will be impossible to restore justice for Ukraine, it will be impossible to restore international order.

Today I signed an important decree on a nationwide minute of silence to honor the memory of all Ukrainians who died in our patriotic war. All those we lost because of the Russian invasion. Because of the terror committed by the invaders .

Every morning at 9 am in the whole territory of our state we will remember the Ukrainians who gave their lives. All who fought. All military and all civilians. Adults and children… Everyone! All those who could still be alive if Russia had not started this war.

May the memory of everyone who died for Ukraine live forever!

The losses of the invaders continue to grow.

The number of killed enemy soldiers is already approaching 14,000. Tens of thousands of Russian servicemen were wounded. They have already lost more than a hundred helicopters. Soon there will be hundreds of lost planes.

More than 400 Russian tanks were destroyed, plus several thousand units of other equipment.

We take abandoned enemy equipment from the battlefield and use it to protect our state and our people.

Ukrainians!

If you know where the enemy is and where he abandoned his tanks or other armored vehicles, ordnance, inform the Ukrainian forces. Let’s use everything for our victory! And for the sake of victory be wise.

Don’t publish details of our air defense work when you hear the guys work. Do not publish maps that you find in abandoned Russian vehicles and in the broken command posts of the invaders. Please give them to our military. Let them use it to make the enemy suffer!

Today at 3 pm Kyiv time I will address the Congress of the United States of America.

This will be an important speech. A speech from all of us, from each of our defenders, from each of our citizens. Addressed to the most powerful democracy in the world. To the state and the people who can do a lot to stop Russian aggression, to restore peace on our land.

Eight years ago, on this day, the Russian state organized a fake “referendum” on the territory of our Ukrainian Crimea. Which it later used to justify the seizure of our territory. It was illegal. This was the destruction of the entire security architecture in Europe, which was created after World War II. But Russia went for it.

If then there had been at least a hint of such resistance, which we are showing now, which you are showing now… If then the world had reacted at least half as it should react now and reacts… I’m sure we would have had neither this invasion, nor eight years of war in Donbas. All this evil was born from the occupation of Crimea. From our weakness, the brutal actions of Russia, for which it should have been punished already in 2014.

We are much stronger now, we are united. Now we are a great nation.

But… We don’t have a time machine and we can’t go back to the moment when everything was decided.

We can and must fight today, now. We can and must protect our state, our Ukrainian life. We can and must hold negotiations on a just and fair peace for Ukraine. On the real security guarantees that will work.

This is an ambitious task. A difficult one. This is a long way. But I am sure that we, Ukrainians, can do all this. We, Ukrainians, can win. And return to peace.

To the peace we all so strive for.

Glory to our heroes!

Glory to Ukraine!