Today, when the memory of the first day of the new wartime reality hit Ukrainians hard, President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the nation with inspirational words. He recalled the darkest days, paid tribute to the Ukrainian people and their unbreakable spirit, and steeled the nation for the forthcoming challenges and achievements.
“A year ago, on this day, from this very place, I addressed you at about seven in the morning with a short statement. It lasted only 67 seconds. It contained the two most important things, then and now. That Russia started a full-scale war against us. And that we are strong. We are ready for anything. We will defeat everyone because we are Ukraine,” Zelensky said.
Kyiv Post brings to your attention the strongest of Zelensky’s quotes from his historic speech dedicated to the one-year anniversary of Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine.
President Zelensky recalled the darkest days and the hardest challenges the millions of Ukrainians faced
“We woke up early and have not slept since then. Someone was afraid and shocked, but everyone felt what to do.”
“We withstood the first day of a full-scale war. We did not know what would happen tomorrow, but understood that we had to fight for every tomorrow.”
“And we fought. And we fought fiercely for every day. And we endured the second day. And then – the third. Three days that we were predicted to last. They threatened that in 72 hours we would not exist.”
“And then came spring. New attacks, new wounds, new pain. Everyone saw the true nature of our enemy. The shelling of the maternity hospital, the drama theater in Mariupol, Mykolaiv Regional State Administration, Svobody Square in Kharkiv, the train station in Kramatorsk. We saw Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka. The whole world clearly realized what the Russian world really means. What Russia is capable of.”
“We took new hits every day, learned about new tragedies every day, but we endured thanks to those who gave it all they got every day. For the sake of others.”
“In fact, every Ukrainian has lost someone in the past year. A father, a son, a brother, a mother, a daughter, a sister. A loved one. A close friend, colleague, neighbor, acquaintance. My condolences.”
“Almost everyone has at least one contact in their phone who will never pick up the phone again. Will never answer a text message “How are you?”.
President Zelensky paid tribute to the bravery and invincibility of Ukrainians
“Our medics rescue wounded soldiers on the frontline, perform surgeries under fire, deliver babies in bomb shelters, and stay on duty for days and weeks. Like our rescuers and firefighters who pull people out of the rubble and fire 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
“We have become one big army. We have become a team where someone finds, someone packs, someone brings, but everyone donates. We have become one family. There are no more strangers among us. Ukrainians today are all fellows.”
“We withstand all threats, shelling, cluster bombs, cruise missiles, kamikaze drones, blackouts, and cold. We are stronger than that.”
“The war changed the fate of many families. It rewrote the history of our families. It changed our customs and traditions. Grandfathers used to tell their grandchildren how they beat the Nazis. Now grandchildren tell their grandfathers how they beat the Rashists. Mothers and grandmothers used to knit scarves, now they weave camouflage nets. Children used to ask Santa for smartphones and gadgets, but now they give pocket money and raise money for our soldiers.”
“I am grateful to our people, grateful to our multi-million army of volunteers and citizens who do care, who can collect and get everything necessary.”
President Zelensky recounted the most outstanding achievements of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
“And then there were the first offensives, the first achievements, the first liberated territories. The first and not the last Chornobaivka. Expulsion of the occupiers from the Kyiv, Sumy, and Chernihiv regions. Our Stuhna. Vilkha. Our Neptune and the sinking Moskva cruiser. The first Ramstein. And the second-ever Lend-Lease.”
“We have no doubt that we will win. In the summer we felt it. We passed 100 days of war. We received EU candidate status, returned Zmiinyi Island, heard the first ‘Bavovna’ in Crimea, saw fireworks at the occupier’s warehouses and Antonivskyi Bridge.”
“August was the first month when the occupiers did not take a single Ukrainian city. Threats and ultimata about denazification were replaced by gestures of goodwill. And we felt then that our victory was inevitable. It is close. It will come.”
“And then came the autumn. And our counteroffensive. The liberation of Izyum, Balakliya, Kupyansk, Lyman, the Kherson region and the city of Kherson. We saw how people there met our military. How they cherished the Ukrainian flag. How they were waiting and returned to Ukraine.”
President Zelensky recalled the enormous support provided by the Western allies
“Ukraine has surprised the world. Ukraine has inspired the world. Ukraine has united the world. There are thousands of words to prove it, but a few will suffice. HIMARS, Patriot, Abrams, IRIS-T, Challenger, NASAMS, Leopard.”
“I thank all of our partners, allies and friends who have stood side by side with us throughout the year. I am glad that the international anti-Putin coalition has grown so much that it requires a separate address. I will deliver it shortly. Definitely.”
“I also thank our foreign policy army. Divisions of our diplomats, ambassadors, representatives in international organizations and institutions. All those who are fighting the occupiers with fire and sword of international law, achieving new sanctions and recognition of the terrorist state as a terrorist state.”
Zelensky steeled the nation for the upcoming challenges and reassured everyone of the upcoming victory
“The verdict is obvious. Nine years ago, the neighbor became an aggressor. A year ago, the aggressor became an executioner, looter and terrorist. We have no doubt that they will be held accountable. We have no doubt that we will win.”
“We will fight and bring back every single one of our captive soldiers. Only all this together will be a victory. We can see it even in the dark. Despite the constant massive missile attacks and power outages. We see the light of this victory.”
“In their memories of their first feelings on Feb. 24, 2022, people mention shock, pain, and uncertainty. A year after the full-scale invasion, the faith in victory is 95%. The main emotion we feel when we think about Ukraine is pride.”
“It was a year of resilience. A year of care. A year of bravery. A year of pain. A year of hope. A year of endurance. A year of unity. The year of invincibility. The furious year of invincibility.”
“Its main result is that we endured. We were not defeated. And we will do everything to gain victory this year!”
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter