President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an address on Victory Day. He stated that the contribution of the Ukrainian people to the victory over Nazism in World War II would not be forgotten, and promised that Ukraine would not allow “to appropriate the common victory of the peoples of the anti-Hitler coalition.” Zelensky proposed to postpone the celebration of Victory Day from May 9 to May 8 – he submitted a bill to the Verkhovna Rada, according to which May 8 will become the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in World War II. It is on this day that European countries celebrate Victory Day. In addition, Zelensky signed a decree according to which May 9 in Ukraine will become Europe Day – an international holiday of peace and unity in the EU countries. Meduza publishes Zelensky’s address in full.
Dear people! On May 8, Ukraine and the free world remember six terrible years in the history of mankind. From 1939 to 1945… The years that claimed the lives of millions of people, including eight million Ukrainians. Years of occupation and atrocities, bloody battles, bombardments, blockades and mass executions, the Holocaust. All the evil that Nazism brought to the world brought to our land.
Different peoples in unity, as part of the anti-Hitler coalition, resisted evil. The peoples of Europe and America … Asia, Australia, Africa – each has its own history of fighting in that war, but a common history of victory.
It is on May 8 that the greatness of the victory over Nazism is remembered by most of the peoples of the world. The world bows to all who defended and defended life. Who dropped Nazi flags on the liberated territory and opened the gates of concentration camps. Who returned freedom to the peoples, destroyed and condemned the Nazi evil.
It was on May 8, 1945 that the act of unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht came into force. It is on May 8 that the world honors the memory of all those whose lives were taken by the war. This is pure history, without ideological impurities. And this is the story of our people, our allies, the entire free world.
Today we are returning it to our state. Today I am submitting to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine a bill proposing to establish May 8 as the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in the Second World War of 1939-1945.
We will never forget the contribution of the Ukrainian people to the victory over Nazism. And we will not allow anyone to erase the role of Ukrainians in this victory, our people, the generation that we keep the memory of in almost every one of our families.
We will not allow the general victory of the peoples of the anti-Hitler coalition to be appropriated and we will not let it lie that the victory could have taken place without the participation of any country or people. We destroyed evil together! Just as together we are now confronting a similar evil.
Remembering the heroism of millions of Ukrainians in that war against Nazism, we see the same heroism in the actions of our soldiers now – the descendants of those who won – the capitulation of Nazism on that day, May 8, 1945. And we are proud of the heroism of the Ukrainian people! Then and now.
Evil has returned. Just as then evil rushed into our cities and villages, so it does now. As it killed our people then, so it does now. Although now the aggressor is different, but the goal is the same: enslavement or destruction.
And just like in World War II, we are not alone against evil now. We fight against it together – with the whole free world. With the states and peoples who then created a common victory. Who, remembering the terrible years of that war, do not say “We can repeat!”, But defend the meaning of the words “Never again!” Who did not betray the memory of their heroes and who keep the strength of our common values - human life and freedom, equality and dignity, a world without xenophobia and anti-Semitism, without racism and intolerance, without an ideology of hatred.
We fought then and we are fighting now so that no one will ever again enslave other peoples and destroy other countries. And all the old evil that modern Russia is returning will be defeated in the same way that Nazism was defeated.
Against our ideals, this enemy has once again staged aggression and annexation, occupation and deportation, massacres and torture, bombardment of cities and burning of villages. All this will be answered by our victory! Victory for Ukraine and the free world. Liberation of our lands. The return of our people. Protecting our values. And necessarily – justice, necessarily – justice against the rashist ideology of hatred.
Dear Ukrainians! Now, like 80 years ago, Ukraine is fighting against total evil. Now, just like 80 years ago, Ukraine is fighting for the future – its own and that of all of Europe, of the entire free world. Now, just like 80 years ago, we rely on the common strength of free peoples and know that together with them we will always be part of a free Europe that will not submit to evil. And together with all free Europe on May 9, we will celebrate Europe Day in Ukraine. a united Europe, which must and will be based on peace. Europe, of which Ukraine has always been, is and will be.
Today I signed a corresponding decree, and every year, starting tomorrow, on May 9, we will honor our historical unity – the unity of all Europeans who destroyed Nazism and will defeat rashism.
This will be the Day of Europe, which supports Ukrainians during all nine years of aggression and already 439 days of full-scale invasion. This will be the Day of Europe, which helps us fight on all fronts: on the battlefield with weapons, on the diplomatic front with determination, against missile terror and the winter blackout, in the economy and on the legal front. It will be the Day of Europe – our ally. Which gives shelter to Ukrainian women and children. Which does not encroach on our sovereignty and does not question our right to our own choice of a national path. Which never calls Ukraine a “fictitious” or “artificial” entity. And who gives us her weapons so that we can defend ourselves and her – our Europe!
Many years ago, a tradition was established on our continent to celebrate Europe Day, to celebrate the achieved peace and unity. Today, unity on our continent brings us closer to celebrating the first day of our peace.
An honest memory of the past always strengthens faith in the future. Today, paying tribute to the most important victory of the 20th century, we are all waiting and approaching a new great day – the day of a new victory. Our victory. Victory Day of Ukraine. Certainly common. Which we will achieve together with everyone who is helping us now.
We will remember every state and every people who stood up in the struggle for freedom with us. We will never say that the victory could have taken place without one of them. It will be a common success, but I am sure that the world will call this day the same – Victory Day of Ukraine.
The day when we kick out the last occupier from our land. The day when we will liberate all our cities and villages. The day when the curfew throughout Ukraine will be replaced by the first minute of the world. When we can forget about the Air Raid app. When the soldiers return to their families, and the settlers – to their home. When we can safely travel around our country and discover its beauty again and again. When will we meet guests of Ukraine, friends of Ukraine at our airports and in Boryspil, and in Simferopol, and in our other cities. In free cities of free Ukraine!
We will not lose what we have gained, we will return everything captured by the enemy, we will rebuild what was destroyed, and together we will protect it all.
We do not yet know the date of our victory, but we know that it will be a holiday for all of Ukraine, all of Europe, the entire free world. There will be a holiday for all our heroes – our defenders and defenders, all our people who fight and work for our victory, all our allies and partners who strive for our victory just like we do.
And our victory will have a symbol – a blue and yellow ribbon, our Ukrainian flag. Wherever he rightfully should be. Wherever our national colors will also be a symbol of respect for our people. This is how it should be and will be.
We remember the past, we fight today and do not stop, winning.
Eternal memory to all those who died in World War II! Glory to each and every one who fought against Nazism and won!
Glory to all who fight for Ukraine! Glory to all our heroes of different times, to whom we equally owe our lives!
Source : Meduza