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You're reading: Tymoshenko addresses Ukrainians on 8th anniversary of Orange Revolution

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko regrets that not all politicians in Ukraine have a responsible attitude to the achievements of the Orange Revolution, but hopes that Nov. 22 will again be a national holiday.

“The desire for freedom united Ukrainian citizens in the unforgettable autumn days of 2004. The Maidan [Independence Square in Kyiv] enabled all people to feel and understand that true freedom is inside them, that it’s a core value, but it’s necessary to fight for it and to defend it,” the press service of the Batkivschyna Party quoted Tymoshenko as saying on Thursday in her address on the occasion of the Freedom Day.

She noted that “the whole world observed in fascination a real holiday of democracy and national unity” and that Ukrainians felt as a united and free nation.

“But the path that we had to walk further was not easy, because freedom also has another side – a common responsibility. It is the responsibility of the people who fought for freedom and the responsibility of the politicians who have to protect and strengthen it. Unfortunately, not all treated this responsibility seriously. I think that each of us can admit it,” Tymoshenko said.

She said that the thoughtlessness of some politicians and the short sightedness of other politicians had eventually brought Viktor Yanukovych to power, “who even sees the concept of ‘freedom’ as a personal threat.”

“Because of this fear, Yanukovych canceled Freedom Day, naively believing that formally, a simple presidential decree can take it away from the people, make people submissive slaves, silently look at a corrupt government, and shamelessly use the state for their own enrichment and ignore the rights of people,” she said.

As reported, the Freedom Day was celebrated on Nov. 22. This holiday was established on Nov. 19, 2005 by a decree of President Viktor Yuschenko.

On Dec. 30, 2011, President Viktor Yanukovych signed a decree establishing the Day of Unity and Freedom on Jan. 22.

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