Volodymyr Zelensky: After this Russian war against Ukraine, neither smoldering nor frozen conflict should remain
These days, people remember the Russian war against Georgia in 2008. There are many talks about the prerequisites of that war, about its consequences. About how that year’s refusal to provide Ukraine and Georgia with a NATO Membership Action Plan increased the audacity of the Russian leadership. But still, the war of that time has not yet become history, has not completely receded into the past. Therefore, it is necessary to talk more about what can be done than about what happened.
The challenges of that time are still very relevant today. And not only because the threat of further Russian aggression in this part of the Caucasus still exists, even though it is frozen. Only now has the world begun to realize the need for real, effective tools to prevent such aggressions and to bring any aggressors to justice.
2008, 2014, 2022 – the wars that started in these years have a different scale and nature, but there is one meaning of what happened: regional and global security mechanisms did not work.
That is why the principle of prevention, which we have been insisting on for a very long time even before February 24, is so necessary in international relations. If it is already clear that a state is preparing aggression – unjust, unprovoked, illegal, then the world’s reaction to its preparation should be the same as to the aggression that happened. It is necessary to act to prevent war, not to wait for strikes and victims.
After this Russian war against Ukraine, neither smoldering nor frozen conflict should remain. This is an important conclusion. Ukraine must return everything that Russia temporarily seized, and the aggressor state must be punished for the crime of aggression. And this is important not only for justice.
Only the obvious defeat of the aggressor, their loss of everything captured and their international legal responsibility for aggression are safeguards against any war.
This is what our diplomats, the Office, government officials and absolutely everyone involved in organizing a global political, economic and legal response to Russian aggression are working on. By protecting our state, we automatically protect everyone who has already been threatened or may still be threatened by a terrorist state.
And, of course, the greatest contribution is now made by the military – all Ukrainian heroes who are breaking the Russian terrorist machine on the battlefield.
Today I especially want to thank the Ukrainian anti-aircraft fighters of the Air Command “Center” and Air Command “South” for the successful destruction of Russian missiles that were launched from the Black Sea in the morning. The four downed Kalibrs are dozens of Ukrainian lives saved. Our military also managed to shoot down some of the missiles that Russian terrorists launched at Ukraine in the afternoon and in the evening.
Yes, our military means are still not enough to guarantee the downing of all Russian missiles. And we will do everything to ensure that such means appear in our country. But even now, the skill of our heroes makes it possible, at least partially, to reduce the Russian terrorist threat. I am grateful to everyone who ensures that!
We are actively informing the world about Russian nuclear blackmail – about shelling and mining of the Zaporizhzhia NPP facilities. There are already appropriate reactions from the international community. But it is necessary to speed up actions in response. Russia will not pay attention to words and concerns. New sanctions are needed against the terrorist state and the entire Russian nuclear industry for creating the threat of a nuclear disaster. The world should not forget about Chornobyl and remember that the Zaporizhzhia NPP is the largest in Europe. The Chornobyl disaster is an explosion in one reactor, the Zaporizhzhia NPP is six power units.
I held negotiations with the President of Botswana – the first in the history of our bilateral relations. We discussed cooperation within the UN and other international organizations. I expressed gratitude for the condemnation of Russian aggression and assured Mr. President that Ukraine is ready to continue being the guarantor of world food security.
Implementation of the grain export initiative continues – today, for the first time since February 24, a loaded ship left the Pivdennyi port. Currently, there is every chance to ensure the rhythmic nature of such exports. However, as in previous days, the key thing is the ability of the partners to prevent any attempts by Russia to disrupt exports and exacerbate the global food crisis again.
And I want to remind all our agrarians, all workers of our ports, all those involved in related industries and all those who comment on this that sea export was restored primarily thanks to our warriors who protected the relevant water area: our intelligence, our special operations forces and “Alpha” of the Security Service of Ukraine, gunners, the Navy, the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, border guards and our entire heroic army that defends the state.
A new package of American support for Ukraine in the amount of one billion dollars was announced today. These are, in particular, rockets for HIMARS, ammunition for artillery and many other really useful things. I am grateful to President Biden and the people of the United States for this support, 100% of which is used to protect freedom, our common freedom.
I signed a new decree on awarding combatants. 183 of our defenders were awarded state awards, four of them posthumously.
Eternal memory to all those who gave their lives for Ukraine!
Gratitude to everyone who fights for the country!
Glory to Ukraine!