Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the country was “reborn” on the day Russia invaded as he paid tribute to Ukrainians assisting the war effort in an emotional Independence Day video address.
August 24 is the day celebrated as Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union and it also marks exactly six months since Russia invaded Ukraine .
Speaking in an emotional video on Wednesday, Zelensky reminisced back to Feb. 24, when he said Ukrainians had to “prove our words with deeds.”
“On this day, the second all-Ukrainian referendum actually took place. Again — the main question. Again — a decisive choice. But this time it was necessary to say “yes” to independence not in the ballot, but in the soul and conscience,” he said.
“A new nation that emerged on Feb. 24 at 4 a.m. Not born, but reborn. A nation that didn’t cry, didn’t scream, didn’t get scared. Didn’t run away. Didn’t give up. Didn’t forget.”
Zelensky paid tribute to Ukrainians celebrating Independence Day, listing the various ways they have mobilized to assist their country from fighting on the front lines to raising funds for the war effort.
He spoke to the lengthy nature of the war, remarking that Ukraine has been “holding on for six months.”
“Every new day is a new reason not to give up. Because, having gone through so much, we have no right not to reach the end,” he said.
“What is the end of the war for us? We used to say: peace. Now we say: victory.”
Zelensky then ended his address by vowing to restore Ukrainian rule in Crimea — which was annexed by Russia in 2014 — and the Russian-occupied Donbas region “whatever the path may be”
#Zelensky August 23rd
1/ "I am grateful to everyone who defends true values. I am grateful to everyone who helps Ukraine. I am grateful to everyone who, since February 24, has chosen the path of struggle for what makes life real: for freedom, for independence. pic.twitter.com/DHtON3WIJk
— Oriannalyla 🇺🇦 (@Lyla_lilas) August 23, 2022