The statement made by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, on 16 March 2022.
Free people of a free country!
Eight years of war in Donbas, 20 days of full-scale invasion. The third week is about to be over. We all want peace. As soon as possible. We all want to win. And there is always a feeling that a little more, and we will get what belongs to us, Ukraine, by right. But…
But efforts are still needed. It takes patience. We still have to fight. And work – everyone in their place. Everyone. In particular, our representatives, our delegation in negotiations with the Russian Federation. It is important. It is difficult, but important, because any war ends in an agreement. Meetings continue. As I am told, the positions in the negotiations sound more realistic. However, time is still needed for the decisions to be in Ukraine’s interests.
Our heroes, our defenders give us this time. Defending Ukraine everywhere. Wherever the enemy wants to break through.
The invaders did not succeed today. Although thousands of their people were thrown into battle.
In the north and east, in the south of our state. The enemy lost equipment, hundreds of soldiers… Many Russian conscripts died. Dozens of officers. One more general is among the killed invaders. At least one general today.
The invaders also committed new and obvious war crimes. They fired at peaceful cities and civilian infrastructure. The number of missiles that Russia has used against Ukraine already exceeds 900. There are so many air bombs that it is impossible to count them.
Two more journalists were killed in an artillery strike by Russian troops. Ukrainian Oleksandra Kuvshynova and Fox News representative Pierre Zakrzewski. Another journalist was heavily wounded. The shelling took place in the Kyiv region.
And this is another big reason to tighten Western sanctions against the Russian Federation. Tighten until the Russian state stops the war.
Citizens of Russia! Any of you who have access to truthful information could already understand how this war will end for your country. Shame and poverty. Years of isolation. A very cruel repressive system that will treat the citizens of Russia in the same inhumane way as you, invaders, treated Ukrainians. What happens next depends on your actions.
I want to speak directly to all the officials of the Russian Federation, to everyone who is related to the current government: if you remain in office, if you do not oppose the war, the international community will deprive you of everything. Everything you have earned over the years. This is already being done.
The same goes for the propaganda system. The fourth branch of power in Russia. If you stay to work for propaganda, you are putting yourself at much greater risk than if you just leave. Just quit. The risk of sanctions and an international tribunal for propaganda of an aggressive war, for justifying war crimes.
Quit! A few months without a job is definitely better for you than a lifetime of international persecution.
Today the Prime Ministers of the three partner states and the three friendly states of Ukraine visited Kyiv. Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. Poland was also represented by Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński and the Prime Minister of Poland.
I was glad to meet, to talk directly, in person, in our capital. This is important support. When our Kyiv is a target for the invaders, it is especially important and especially courageous to be here, next to us, next to friends. This is how leadership is shown.
And I invite all friends of Ukraine to visit Kyiv. It can be dangerous here. It is true. Because our sky is not yet closed to Russian missiles and planes.
The decision to strengthen our arsenal in the air has not yet been made. We have not received planes. But…
You know for sure that the eyes of all the people of the world are now focused on our capital, on Ukrainians. So everyone who is with us will receive gratitude. Not only ours, but also of other nations of the world. Everyone who is with us has a chance to become a real hero.
I addressed the Canadian Parliament. In fact, in front of the entire political community of this country – our friend. In front of all Canadians. I thanked them for their support – really sincere support. Canada was among the first to come to the rescue of Ukraine. And I called on Canadians to maintain that leadership.
Help Ukraine. Not in words, but in deeds: weapons, new sanctions against Russia. As well as an active moral position. A position as regards all international businesses that still stay in Russia, that do not leave. Although they fully understand that they are sponsoring the war, sponsoring terror.
My address to the United States Congress is scheduled for Wednesday. An important event.
And today I would like to thank President Biden and all the friends of Ukraine in the United States for the new $13.6 billion package of support for our country, our people. The law providing for this funding has been signed. We consider it as the first step towards the full restoration of Ukraine.
The Verkhovna Rada also met today. The meeting was effective.
Economic innovations have been approved – tax cuts that should save jobs and allow Ukraine’s business to work. Wherever possible.
There is a zero rate of excise duty and 7% VAT on fuel to stabilize prices and ensure supply.
Business regulation is simplified as much as possible. We are reducing the activities of control bodies so that there are no unnecessary inspections for those who work in accordance with Ukrainian law and do not violate consumer rights.
The new law also provides the necessary guarantees for the territorial defense warriors – all volunteers will be recognized as combat veterans.
A technical decision was made to continue martial law. This is needed to effectively defend the state.
Also all nuances of police activity during martial law are settled. I am waiting for the adopted laws to sign them.
And I am grateful to the people’s deputies of Ukraine for the fact that the majority of votes collected more than 340 votes in favor. This demonstrates the political unity of Ukraine. Finally.
When all parties and groups work together in a legitimately elected parliament, one of the main myths of the invaders that the Ukrainian government allegedly does not represent the will of the people is shattered. It definitely does!
And all the collaborators who decided to work a little for the invaders must already think where in Rostov they will hide from punishment.
I hope that on Wednesday the long-awaited rescue of people from the city of Izyum, Kharkiv region, will take place. The humanitarian corridor has been agreed upon.
Over the past 24 hours, 28,893 Ukrainians were rescued from combat areas in Sumy, Kharkiv and Donetsk regions.
20,000 of them managed to leave Mariupol. So far only by personal vehicles. There will be a difficult situation. We are fighting for you. Sorry, everything is very difficult.
The Ukrainian humanitarian convoy is still constantly blocked by Russian soldiers on the way to the city. But we will not give up trying to save people, to save the city. And I am grateful to each of our defenders! To every defender of Mariupol, Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Mykolaiv and all other cities this evil wants to capture.
I am grateful to all who hold on and fight for life.
Your resistance, your resilience, your courage make it possible for Ukraine to survive. And save our people and our land.
I signed a decree on awarding state awards to 139 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who distinguished themselves in the defense of our state. 32 of them – posthumously.
I also signed a decree on conferring the title of Hero of Ukraine with the Order of the Golden Star to:
Colonel Hudz Valeriy Fedorovych. Posthumously. For the heroic defense of Popasna in the Luhansk region.
Colonel Kotenko Serhiy Leonidovych. Posthumously. Thanks to his courageous actions and personal determination, several columns of enemy equipment were destroyed.
Colonel Maryniak Oleksandr Myroslavovych. Posthumously. Due to his determination, a large number of enemy soldiers, groups of fuel tanks and enemy equipment were destroyed during the defense of the Kyiv region.
Major Sbytov Pavlo Olehovych. Posthumously. Thanks to his professionalism and decisive actions, the destruction of several large enemy units was organized.
May the memory of everyone who died for our Ukraine live forever!
On conferring the title of Hero of Ukraine with the Order of the Golden Star to:
Senior Lieutenant Dozirchy Dmytro Leonidovych. His effective actions in the defense of the Kherson region allowed our forces to get out of the encirclement and continue the struggle.
Senior Lieutenant Sydunets Volodymyr Volodymyrovych. Thanks to his actions, the division of the Russian Iskanders was destroyed.
Glory to all of you!
Glory to all our heroes!
Glory to Ukraine!