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My Dear Ukrainians!

Today our Homeland turns 21…21 years of independence, 21 years of
victories and mistakes, ups and downs. This is the age when childhood
ends and adulthood begins. 21 is the age when you stop relying on your
parents or anyone else and it becomes dangerous to act recklessly. All
you have is independence, responsibility and determination. And you have
to know how to cope with this independence.

In psychology there is something called a mid-twenties crisis. It’s
when you want to become the best and most successful. But it doesn’t
happen on the first attempt.

If all was well, Ukraine would be going through this natural crisis
of positive perfectionism that is characteristic of this age – it would
want to be successful, beautiful, victorious, amaze the world, build
modern plans – and we could all rest easy knowing it is on a reliable
strategic path.

But we all know that this isn’t the case, that they want to
artificially age our entire nation. They’re taking away our hopes,
extinguishing our dreams, stamping out our long drawn positive path.

I want to ask you today, regardless of your party affiliation or
apolitical position: are you willing to accept this disgraceful
development of our national history? Are you willing to swallow all of
this and continue to live with it, regardless of whether you live in the
East or West, North of South of Ukraine? I don’t want to believe that
the answer to this question is “YES”! And if someone is willing to, then
for what? For posts, for proximity to the feeder, for the latest
promises from the mafia, for handouts before the elections?

It’s not worth it. I refuse to believe that proud Ukrainians have
replaced honor and dignity with their stomach and intelligence and
wisdom have been eliminated by propaganda and linguistic adventurism. I
know that you’re not like this. I know that you’re different, that
you’re real. You’re just a little tired of the political disappointment
and deception.

Classical literature, which can cause our government intellectuals
to confuse Balzac with balsam, provides important lessons. The
protagonist of The Magic Skin, as we recall, died of phthisis, having
sucked out of his talisman – a magic piece of shagreen – all vitality.
He became fabulously wealthy, had a magnificent ‘mezhyhirya’ and
unlimited possibilities. But there is a heavy price to pay for
everything obtained in such a disgraceful way. We are like this shagreen
– being sucked of our national energy.

I want us together to leave no chance for those sucking Ukraine of
its hope, dreams and aspirations. Do you hear me?! Not just the
opposition, not just the democratic world, but everyone, I repeat –
everyone! must make a super effort to prevent Ukraine from falling into
the hands of dictatorship. Make the effort not for politicians or
someone you don’t know – but for yourself!

I know. I know for certain from personal experience that making
dangerous but right decisions is very difficult. There are many
circumstances and obstacles. There are many risks for you and your
family. But despite all this, everyone should take an important step.
Only you can make an informed choice of whose side you’re on: your side,
your family’s side, your country’s side or the side of the mafia.

Find the strength to make the correct choice! We are a people for
whom the road to independence was long. Did we achieve it so that we
could then lose this treasure so ineptly? Who will we be then? Will we
have the right to basic respect from future generations?

Stand up to fight! Nobody, right now, has the right to strife,
conflict, opportunism, being ‘against all’. No responsible person has
the right to be neutral. On one side is Ukraine – its success, life,
beauty and victory. On the other side is the mafia that has taken
everyone’s country and peaceful family life. It doesn’t matter what form
of battle you choose. Act independently or with a team, openly or
confidentially. Just act! Because, first and foremost, you are defending
yourself and your family. This is not the opposition’s battle against
the regime. This is a battle between all smart and strong people and
absolute evil, which is growing and becoming stronger.

There’s just one thing you shouldn’t do on the 21st year of our
independence – don’t leave a young country alone with kleptocracy,
occupiers, dictators, don’t give yourself the right to conform to their
level of immorality, don’t get scared, don’t betray yourself and your
country.

I’m convinced that if we understand this, Ukraine will return to a
positive path, restore justice, find a place for every child in their
own land. Ukraine will survive all the age crises and with every year
become more successful, prosperous, democratic and European.

On your birthday, I wish you, my Ukraine, to straighten your
shoulders, breath deeply and let the faith and hope that was ripped from
you after the Orange Revolution into your soul. I know that the wounds
are still sore from the cynical betrayals of that time, but you have to
let them heal and recover slowly. Get back to the fight, which means get
back to life.

I believe in each of you. I believe that you will find the strength
and wisdom, that you will rise to attack, and not hide in the trenches
with conveniences and food from the enemy. It will be more difficult
than ever. Some believe that our battle is already lost, but it is still
in your hands. Everything can be changed.

Win! Win, my Ukraine! Happy Birthday! 

Always
your Yulia Tymoshenko pm Kharkiv prison

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