President Poroshenko: March of Independence

The Independence Day has transformed from the official date into the greatest holiday of Ukraine, as stated by President Petro Poroshenko in his speech during the March of Independence in Kyiv.

"Russian aggression has become a catalyst of our unity. We have been completely formed as a single Ukrainian political nation," the Head of State noted.

The President emphasized that "today, we are stronger than yesterday". "We cannot be enslaved or broken. We were born free on our land. And we are ready to defend it until the end at any cost," the President stressed.

"We have to walk through the 25th year of Independence as if we are on a thin ice. We should understand: the slightest misstep can be fatal. War for Independence is still continued. And one can win it combining defensive efforts, diplomatic skills, political responsibility and iron self-control," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.

 

The President noted that the aggression of the neighboring state had taken almost 2100 lives of our warriors. Addressing the Ukrainian servicemen, the Head of State emphasized: "On behalf of the Ukrainian people, low bow to the glorious Ukrainian army for defending the freedom of our citizens and the Independence of our state".

According to the President, our troops constantly self-improve and demonstrate efficient system of control, training and interaction. Recent attack of the enemy near Maryinka and Starohnativka failed as a result of skillful actions of the Ukrainian troops. "If necessary, we use artillery units to confront the enemy after informing the OSCE," the President said.

The Head of State underlined the role of volunteers in the reinforcement of troops and the role of the Ukrainian diplomacy in the formation of the efficient international coalition in support of our state. "Due to the efforts of our army, diplomats and the entire people of Ukraine, Russia failed to achieve its goal. Ukraine and Ukrainians withstood. We existed, we exist and we will exist. Let these words be recalled in the far future, when the 100th anniversary of Ukraine's Independence will be celebrated," Petro Poroshenko said.

"Militaries liberated the bigger part of Donbas. We defended the European choice," the Head of State noted adding that very soon, despite the obstruction of Moscow, the Association Agreement with the EU would enter into force and would be fully implemented. Only two countries left, which haven't yet ratified this Agreement.

The President emphasized that the enemy didn't give up the idea of direct invasion or advancement of militants inside Ukraine. Russian armed groups near our border in the east already exceed 50 000 soldiers. "Moscow-Voyentorg" supplied up to 500 tanks, up to 400 artillery systems, up to 950 armored vehicles for militants. Three big columns crossed our border and headed to Luhansk, Donetsk and Debaltseve this week. But the enemy knows that we are ready to repel the attack. The price for the escalation will be too high for Russia. That's why Russia has an alternative strategy - to destabilize the situation inside our country and bring discord into the relations between Ukraine and our key international partners.

The President stated that some Ukrainian politicians play along with that plan "due to improvidence or irresponsibility; unwillingness or inability to realize consequences of their dangerous initiatives in conditions of the election campaign". "We need consolidation. One and only national flag is more valuable than hundreds of political banners," the President emphasized.

The President once again underlined the absence of alternatives to the peaceful settlement under the Minsk agreements. "Due to their effect, Russia felt the influence of sanctions and we had an opportunity to improve our defense capacity," he noted.

"We stand for peace, but we are not pacifists! We will keep on increasing expenditures for the Armed Forces; increasing financial supply of servicemen, enhancing contract component. However, I cannot guarantee the abolition of conscription and new waves of mobilization. The army cannot include solely contract soldiers in conditions of aggression. There are no such examples in the history," the President said.

According to the President, due to the absence of military escalation economic growth might be restored in the coming months: "We have careful hopes that the economy has overcome deep stress caused by war. Business adapts and looks for the new markets to replace the Russian one. Russia doesn't stop the economic war against us as well. It is trying to exhaust us".

Speaking of the indexation of salaries and pensions, the President informed: "Jointly with the Government, we will find an opportunity to conduct it as soon as possible".

"We will accelerate the reforms," the Head of State commented on the launch of the new police in Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa. Soon, the police will also be launched in Uzhhorod, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk. The President also mentioned the completion of the competitive selection of detectives at the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, unprecedented purification and update of the public prosecution, elaboration of constitutional amendments on the judiciary. In a week, the Parliament will consider the constitutional amendments on decentralization, when the majority of powers will be transferred to the local communities and executive committees.

"The most important obligation of the government in autumn is to ensure fair local elections in the course of which Ukrainians will provide proper assessment to all politicians," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.