UKRAINE: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the nation in an emotional speech on Wednesday, marking the country’s 31 years of independence from Soviet rule.
This year’s independence day celebrations took place without the usual fanfare, as the country also reached another milestone, completing six months of continued Russian aggression that began as part of Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” back on February 24.
In his independence day address, Zelensky said, “We will fight until the end” as Ukraine continues to fend off Russian military attacks, with many of the frontline regions under constant threat of unprecedented Russian bombardment and shelling.
“A new nation came into the world on February 24 at 4 in the morning. Not born, but reborn. A nation that didn’t cry, scream, or fear. One that didn’t run. Didn’t give up. And didn’t forget,” he said.
The 44-year-old leader, who spoke in front of Kyiv’s main independence monument in his signature combat overalls, vowed to regain control of occupied areas of eastern Ukraine, as well as the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.
Late on Tuesday, Zelensky also noted that Ukraine would pour its blood, sweat and tears to reclaim its lost territory, Crimea, which now lies under Russian occupation.
He further added that his nation would never bow down before Putin’s monopoly and assured that Ukraine would not be making “any concession or compromise” to Moscow.
“We don’t care what army you have, we only care about our land. We will fight for it until the end,” Zelensky said in the video address, which also marks six months since the invasion began.
Mirroring the true bravado of a daunting leader, Zelensky’s sentimental address refused to surrender. He said his countrymen would fight on, and he would be by their side, as he has always been.
President Zelensky added that Ukraine no longer saw the war ending with peace but with ultimate victory.”What for us is the end of the war? We used to say peace. Now we say victory,” he said.