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Zelenskyy on Day of Dignity and Freedom: "10 years ago, Ukrainians launched their first counteroffensive"

"The day commemorates the beginning of two revolutions - in 2004 and the Revolution of Dignity 10 years ago."

Zelenskyy on Day of Dignity and Freedom: "10 years ago, Ukrainians launched their first counteroffensive"
Photo: Ukrainian presidential office

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Ukrainians on the occasion of Day of Dignity and Freedom. He emphasised that 10 years ago, Ukrainians "launched their first counteroffensive against lawlessness and attempts to deprive us of our European future".

"Today we celebrate Day of Dignity and Freedom. It is a public holiday established to commemorate the beginning of two revolutions - the 2004 Revolution and the Revolution of Dignity 10 years ago... 10 years ago, people united not only against something, but above all for themselves. Everyone for everyone. All those who, after the arbitrariness of force, shared the pain of being beaten, hurt, feeling that it was a blow to justice and truth, freedom, to our common tomorrow. What will it be like if we remain silent, let it happen, and are afraid instead of fighting? And then, in fact, the first victory in today's war took place. The victory of indifference. A victory of courage. The victory of the Revolution of Dignity. The victory of popular resistance, civil society, the feat of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and all those who fought for freedom in the capital and other regions," Zelenskyy said in a video message.

The president noted that a new page of Ukrainian history is being created today.

"And today it depends on our generation what direction it will take. What will be written about us in history books. What our descendants will say about us. 'They fought but they failed' or 'They fought and won'," he said.

Zelenskyy also recalled the danger of seeking "compromises with terrorists".

"When the enemy manages to undermine international support and solidarity. When the civilised world begins to seek compromises with terrorists and make concessions to tyrants. Then we all lose. Ukraine. Europe. The world. We lose, naively thinking that there can be a draw with them. A draw is impossible. We must be strong. Because only the strong believe in the strong, only the strong create the future. Only the strong can be united. United to become free. Free to be worthy. For the sake of new times," he stressed.

Pro-EU anti-government protests, known as Euromaidan, began in Ukraine on 21 November 2013. It was a response to the then government's decision to suspend preparations for the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU. The protests grew in scale after the crackdown on 30 November and lasted until February 2014.

During the Revolution of Dignity, 2,500 people were injured and 107 participants were killed, most of them in February 2014. The killed protesters are known collectively as the Heavenly Hundred.

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