On August 24, Ukraine celebrates the 31st anniversary of the restoration of its independence. On this day back in 1991, the National Parliament voted for the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine and inherited Ukrainian statehood for Ukrainian People’s Republic (1917-1921) which independence was taken away by the communist dictatorship. We broke away from the Soviet past and proceeded with determining our own destiny.
Since then, the Ukrainian nation has achieved even more than ever before in its millennia-long history: we have asserted ourselves as a country of Freedom and Dignity, as a creative and innovative state of diversity and endless new opportunities. This year we have anchored ourselves on the path to the European Union full-fledged membership by receiving EU candidate status and increasing the pace of European transformations even amid the full-scale military invasion of our territory by the Russian Federation that lasts for the last 6 months.
On February 24, 2022, bravery became Ukraine's contemporary national brand attribute in the struggle against the occupier who came to our land to destroy the Ukrainian state, nation and identity. The Ukrainian Armed Forces, other defense forces and the entire nation have set an example of heroism, unity and self-sacrifice in the name of freedom and with the aim to defend our independence. We fight against the aggressor state on the land and in the air, on the sea and in the information and cyber domains, that makes the contribution of every single Ukraine citizen so important.
We are grateful to our partners and friends who introduced devastating sanctions against Russia, provided the Ukrainian people with decisive military, humanitarian and financial support and shared their homes with those Ukrainians, whom the war forced temporarily to flee. To overcome the biggest challenge to mankind since World War II, it is vital to keep supporting Ukraine.
All nations, interested in the restoration of stable peace and rule-based international order, should put their efforts to bring all Russian war criminals and Russia’s political leaders to justice for committing terrifying war crimes that brought suffering to the Ukrainian people and threatened global security. We urge all states and organizations to support the establishment of the Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine. Together, we should ensure that the Putin regime loses all its influence in the world and its ability to wage brutal wars against sovereign states. Thus, we call on our partners to introduce a full oil and gas embargo, expand sectoral and individual sanctions against Russia, Russian elites and state-owned enterprises, as well as completely cut off Russia from the Western banking system.
The lesson of 2014 when Russia occupied Crimea and waged war in Donbas is clear: any compromise with the Kremlin today will turn into even more brutal aggression tomorrow. Setting the defeat of the aggressor as the ultimate goal is the best investment in lasting sustainable global peace under the rule of international law. We believe that with this wide and dedicated international support, Ukraine will celebrate the next Independence Day in peace and within its internationally recognized borders.