Dear people! Dear Ukraine!
The year 2023 is coming to an end. Another year of our independence. Another year of our fight for independence. Another year of war. War for our land. For our freedom. For each other.
Asking millions of Ukrainians about this year, you will get millions of different answers. Everyone will recall something of their own. Someone close to them. Everyone has something to smile about. Because it worked out. And everyone has something to cry over.
Because of losses. Each of us fought, worked, waited, helped, lived and hoped this year. In our own way. Everyone.
But everyone will find something common to all Ukrainians in this year. The major result of the year, its main achievement: Ukraine has become stronger. Ukrainians have become stronger.
676 days ago, we were all challenged. Missiles were flying at us from all sides, and an enemy onslaught was approaching from all directions.
676 days ago, at this very place, I addressed you, Ukrainians, and reported the beginning of a full-scale war. We did not know then what lay ahead. Many did not believe we would last a week. Few believed we would make it through 2022, let alone standing through 2023. And today we are facing 2024.
Ukraine is alive. Ukraine lives. Ukraine fights. Ukraine advances, Ukraine overcomes the path. Ukraine gains. Ukraine works. Ukraine exists. And all together, this is not a New Year's miracle, not a fairy tale, not magic, but the merit of each of you. Each of the millions of Ukrainians. Everyone who throughout this year, day and night, proved: Ukrainians are stronger!
When, at the beginning of 2023, in January and February, we surmounted, without exaggeration, the most difficult winter in history. When we proved that Ukrainians are tougher than cold and darkness. Stronger than power outages and blackout threats.
Ukrainians will cope with any energy shortage as they have no shortage of resilience and courage. We did not fade away in the darkness. The darkness did not engulf us. We defeated the darkness.
Our energy sector withstood. Our country stood strong. It overcame this year. And I want to thank all those who made this possible in the first place.
All our Security and Defense Forces. I am proud of every Ukrainian warrior. As long as you stand, Ukraine stands. I know how courageously and heroically you defend us. All this time. The time of tough, fierce daily battles. From the first minutes of January 1 until now, even on New Year's Eve, when the Ukrainian warrior fights and cannot afford weakness. You are holding back the evil that has become even greater. But it couldn't do anything more.
Because you fought on every front and every street of ours, in each of our houses. You were strong. You did not surrender a single blue-and-yellow heart. Not a single kilometer of our freedom. It is you. All our warriors. Each and every one who proves: Ukrainians are stronger than evil.
And I want to thank all our people, our strong nation. Everyone who is here today. Everyone whom I want to tell: I am proud of all of you. Every Ukrainian citizen. Every strong person. And I know how difficult it is for everyone today. Everyone who has put their lives on hold.
Who postponed everything for after the victory. Everyone who says: "I am working, and this is not a feat, but a duty. I am donating, and this is not a feat, but a norm." Everyone who works and fights every day because they know that wars do not end by themselves – they are ended. And victory is not received or granted – it is gained.
And to this end, today we have to live by the rule: you either work or you fight. Because we have the world's largest terrorist organization against us. And it is obvious how much more we have to do, how much more active we have to be, how much stronger our unity and struggle have to be.
This is known to everyone who does not ask themselves daily 'what can I do?' but lives by the formula 'I must do more than I can.' Because that's what the word 'to win' means. In our language. To overcome yourself, to overpower, to make an extraordinary effort and to do more than it seemed at first glance. Because in reality, each of us is capable of more.
Our heroic people prove this every day. Our heroes. Our medics, saving warriors on the frontline and civilians in peaceful cities and villages. Those who prove: Ukrainians are stronger than pain, wounds, and death.
Our firefighters and rescuers, who show that Ukrainians are stronger than fire and rubble. Those who prove: Ukrainians are stronger than any circumstances, stronger than hopelessness. Our teachers, who educate children despite the war.
Online, in person or by setting up a school in the Kharkiv subway. Our railway workers, our drivers, communication workers, engineers. Our volunteers, our diplomats, Ukrainian business, everyone who pays taxes and provides jobs to the Ukrainians, everyone who sows, reaps and gives Ukrainians bread, everyone who provides shelter to Ukrainians, everyone who makes shells and ammunition, repairs and builds, restores and revives, works every day, proves every day: Ukrainians are stronger than fatigue. And therefore, Ukrainians are stronger than this war. February 24 convinced us of this.
The war taught us a lot. It showed us a lot. It did a lot to us, changed us.
The war, unfortunately, separated families, took away sons and daughters, and at the same time united us into one big family. And on February 24, we made a choice. And the cold, emotionless truth of the war's realities is that this choice was different.
Someone stayed here, in Ukraine, someone fled, someone was besieged, someone evacuated their children, someone went to the front, someone rescued others, someone saved their family, someone left and stayed there, and someone left and returned home. To Ukraine.
And these are stories of people, stories of men and women. Those who could not stay at home and went to the front. And those who could no longer stay abroad, somewhere far from home, and returned. After realizing and saying to themselves: "I do care. I am needed. Needed for victory, needed for Ukraine."
Those who proved: I am stronger than fear. Those who proved: I am stronger than doubts. Because I know that one day I will have to ask myself: who am I? To make a choice about who I want to be. A victim or a winner? A refugee or a citizen? And everyone knows the answer. And the answer is Ukraine. Because Ukrainians are stronger together. So it's time to be together!
And this is the time that all Ukrainians who are now in the temporarily occupied territories are eagerly waiting for. All those who have not lost Ukraine in themselves. Who have not allowed their minds and hearts to be occupied. All those who cherish Ukraine in their children. Cherish our flag. Hold onto the belief in Ukraine's return.
Knowing that all expectations are not in vain. And I want you to feel our gratitude to you for this. And remember: without each and every one of you, Ukraine will be incomplete.
And today we are celebrating the New Year together. According to our time. And at exactly midnight we will sing our anthem – the anthem of Ukraine together. With love for Ukraine. And this love is stronger than the occupation. This love for Ukraine is the driving force that the invaders fear.
And Crimea, Donbas, Luhansk region, Berdyansk, Melitopol, Mariupol – all ours – know this: the enemies truly fear you a lot. Not international organizations with political appeals, but the Ukrainian spirit of Ukrainian people who have proven, are proving, and will prove that we are stronger. Stronger than captivity. Stronger than the enemy. Stronger than this war. Because that's the kind of people we are.
And such people inspire the whole world – you can see that. And such a state is welcome in the European family. This is evidenced by the decision to open negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU. A decision that others have been pursuing for decades.
A decision that was once hard to believe, about which skeptics claimed: "This is not fast, not tomorrow, almost impossible. Do not hope, do not believe, do not expect." But Ukraine of 2023 is determined, resolute, consistent, decisive, and persistent. Ukrainians are stronger than any blockades and vetoes, disbelief or skepticism.
A country that is implementing extremely difficult and necessary reforms and changes during the war. And as a result, a country that is now awaited in the European Union. And these are not just words – these are official decisions, official documents. And this process will definitely have a logical conclusion – full-fledged membership in strong Europe. A powerful one. From Lisbon to Luhansk.
And this is a historic victory. There have been many such diplomatic victories this year. And all of them were not easy for us. The Ukrainian Peace Formula, which has already been endorsed by 80 countries. Security guarantees for Ukraine, which have already been acceded to by three dozen countries.
The "grain corridor" that we were told of: "You will never make it without Russia." We were blocked and blackmailed, but we found a way out. We did, and our corridor is functioning, and by today, it has handled nearly 13 million tons of Ukrainian grain. This year, Ukrainians proved that we are stronger than lies, stronger than PSYOP.
Stronger than despair, discord, and despondency. By maintaining international support for Ukraine. And multiplying it. By opening new directions, new prospects for Ukraine. Having held 120 meetings at the level of leaders this year alone, which brought us 156 defense support packages alone.
Proving once again that Ukrainians are stronger than any intrigues, any attempts to diminish global solidarity, to undermine the coalition of our allies. Instead, it has grown. The coalition of "Patriots", the air coalition, the tank coalition.
And I would like to thank every country that has joined the coalition to return Ukrainian children abducted by Russia. And I thank all our partners for the fact that this year we already have Patriots, IRIS-T, HIMARS, NASAMS, Hawk, Abrams, Leopards and many more. And our pilots are already mastering F-16 jets, and we will definitely see them in our skies. So that our enemies can certainly see what our real wrath is.
And next year, the enemy will feel the wrath of domestic production. Our weapons, our equipment, artillery, our shells, our drones, our naval "greetings" to the enemy and at least a million Ukrainian FPV drones. All of which we will generously use. On land, in the sky and, of course, at sea. Our Black Sea. And this year, the enemy felt like never before: he has no place there. And our actions in the Black Sea have become a dark chapter in the history of the ruscists' fleet.
This can be officially "confirmed" by their large landing ships, missile-armed and patrol corvettes on the bottom of the sea. And our Zmiinyi (Snake Island) is now without their snakes and tricolor.
This year, Ukraine has overcome 6,000 air alerts. Almost every night, it woke up to sirens and went down to the shelter to protect its children from enemy missiles and drones. Our air defense forces worked every night and every day, heroically defending the Ukrainian skies. So that we could hear the 'all clear' call 6 thousand times.
And go up 6 thousand times. Go upstairs. Look up into the sky and prove once again that Ukrainians are stronger than terror.
And no matter how many missiles the enemy fires, no matter how many shellings and attacks – vile, ruthless, massive – the enemy carries out in an attempt to break Ukrainians, intimidate them, knock Ukraine down, drive them underground, we will still rise. Because the one who brings hell to our land will one day see it from his own window.
676 days ago, I addressed you from this office, from my workplace.
Behind me then was a painting – a landscape of the Ukrainian land. Today, behind me are the chevrons of our warriors. And each of them speaks of our land, our sky, all of our Ukraine, our people, what we have accomplished and what we will achieve.
They speak of everyone fallen. And everyone who is fighting. And everyone who will live on this land. And will be proud to be Ukrainian. Because the whole world will know: Ukrainians are stronger!
I wish everyone who has already found themselves in our common cause to always have those who will lend a shoulder and will not let you down in life.
I wish everyone who is still hesitating to make a bold choice next year – to defend their own country, to work for it, to help it, to find themselves in their own country, because this is the only place on earth where we can all say that we are at home.
And just like last December 31, today we say: "We do not know for certain what the new year will bring us." But this year we can add: "Whatever it brings, we will be stronger."
And now I want to say the words that were considered banal before the war, but during the war they are priceless.
I wish you, your families, your loved ones, and all your dear ones warmth and good health.
To those who have a dear heart, may they live long. To those who have lost them, may they remain in your hearts.
To loved ones – time. As much time as possible.
To children – fulfillment of your wishes.
To all people – human happiness.
And to our Ukraine – victory and peace.
Happy New Year, Ukrainians!
Happy New Year, Ukraine!
Glory to Ukraine!
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