Volodymyr Zelenskyy – 2022 Statement on the Situation in Ukraine (28/02/2022)

The statement made by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, on 28 February 2022.

Good morning, Ukrainian heroes! The fifth day of Russia’s full-scale war against the people of Ukraine. We stand firm. During this time, we have experienced as much as other nations may not have in decades. We have been told for a long time that there is something wrong with Ukrainians in this or that issue. That Ukrainians have to do so-called “homework” for decades. Because of this, we often did not notice what we are really capable of. And now we have shown ourselves to the fullest. And it’s inspiring. For everyone.

In every conversation with our partners, I hear sincere respect. Ukrainians have shown the world who we are. And Russia has shown what it has become. Just think about it: during the Russian invasion – in just four days – sixteen Ukrainian children died as a result of the Russian shelling. Sixteen! 45 children were wounded.

Every crime, every shelling that the invaders commit against us, unites us and our partners even more. Russia did not believe in such a solidary and powerful reaction. But Ukrainians have changed that story. The European Union has decided to supply us with weapons. We are grateful. Yesterday I spoke with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, about further, even stronger steps. Europeans are aware that our soldiers are fighting for our country and, consequently, for the whole of Europe. For peace for all European countries, for the lives of children, for equality, for democracy. And this gives us the full right to do the following.

We appeal to the European Union for Ukraine’s immediate accession under a new special procedure. We are grateful to our partners for being with us. But our goal is to be with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be equal. I am confident that is fair. I am confident we deserve it. I am confident that all this is possible.

Yesterday I spoke with the Presidents of Portugal, Lithuania, President of France Emmanuel Macron and President of Poland Andrzej Duda. I am especially grateful to Andrzej Duda for our fruitful work. I spoke with the Prime Ministers of Belgium, Spain and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson. Support of our anti-war coalition is unconditional and unprecedented.

Europe has closed the sky to all Russian planes. Global business refuses any ties with Russian companies. Let’s see how this week will end for the Russian currency – what will be the fall of the ruble. As long as this criminal invasion of Ukraine continues, the Russian state is suffering losses as if the war passed through their territory. Do you need all this? Russian mothers, Russian teachers, Russian entrepreneurs, ordinary people. For what?

Four and a half thousand Russian soldiers have already been killed. Why did you all come here? Why do the columns of your armored vehicles go against us? From our Crimea. From Yalta, Yevpatoriya, Sudak, Simferopol… These are not the names of military camps for tankers. Once again: four and a half thousand Russian invaders killed. Throw away your equipment. And leave. Do not believe your commanders. Do not believe your propagandists. Just save your lives. Leave.

We dedicate every hour to strengthening our state. Anyone who can join the fight against the invaders must do so. Therefore, a decision was made – not easy from a moral point of view, but useful from the point of view of our protection. Under martial law, participants in hostilities – Ukrainians with real combat experience – will be released from custody and will be able to compensate for their guilt in the hottest spots of war. All sanctions are lifted from some people who took part in the anti-terrorist operation. The key now is defense.

When I ran for presidency, I said that each of us is the President. Because we are all responsible for our state. For our beautiful Ukraine. And now it turns out that each of us is a warrior. The warrior in his or her own place. And I am confident that each of us will win.

Glory to Ukraine!