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EMBARGO UNTIL DELIVERY                                                                                

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY                                                                24.02.2023

Speech by


Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe

on the occasion of the

ceremony to mark one year of

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,

(Strasbourg, 24 February 2023)

Madam Minister,

Madam Secretary General,

Mr President,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Deeply honoured to join you for this commemorative ceremony here, at the Council of Europe, rightly called the consciousness of Europe.

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine for a year has shown that Ukraine is a stronghold of democracy. The kremlin's plans to destroy Ukrainian statehood have failed. Ukraine will never give up on freedom, humanity, respect for the individual, following state obligations, and following international law. Ukraine, unlike russia, continues to be a nation run by and for the people, not by a dictator for his own personal gain.

February 24, 2023 markі one year since russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began. The only reason for this unprovoked aggression was the russian state's and its top leadership's neo-imperial and expansionist ambitions. Putin made a fatal mistake.

Russian propaganda claimed Ukraine would only last a few days. In reality, Ukraine has not only stopped the invasion, but has also been able to free nearly half of its newly occupied territories through successful counter-offensives. Russia has become a global pariah this year.

More weapons, particularly artillery and ammunition, tanks, long-range missiles, and fighter jets, are now required to drive the aggressor back to Ukraine's internationally recognized borders.

Don't ask how long this war will last. Ask how to help Ukraine win faster. The sooner and the more security assistance Ukraine gets now, the sooner the war will end with a comprehensive, just and lasting peace. Neither Ukraine, nor anybody else is interested in a protracted war of attrition that will increase casualties and demand additional resources.

Ukraine has made it clear that we will not accept peace at any cost. We won't agree to anything that keeps Ukrainian territories occupied and puts our people at the aggressor's mercy. Russia must be stopped now because appeasing the aggressor would lead to more atrocities elsewhere.

Russia has not changed its plans to destroy Ukraine. Every time Russia cynically calls for "negotiations," its occupation forces do the exact opposite and try to go on the offensive. The Kremlin keeps up its mobilization and acquisition of weapons and ammunition by making more of them at home and working with its allies.

Russia keeps working with authoritarian countries like Iran, North Korea, and Belarus, whose land it used to launch the full-scale invasion a year ago and still uses for training and logistics. The international community must increase pressure on the terrorist state, its proxies, and anyone who helps russia circumvent sanctions.

Ukraine continues to fight for freedom. We will fight for as long as it takes to win because, in the face of russian genocidal aggression, we have no choice but to win.

Ukraine can and will win this war. We are deeply grateful to all our allies and all peace-loving states of the world for their support. More support now means faster victory and peace.

The Ukrainian Peace Formula consists of ten distinct points that, when implemented, will bring comprehensive, just, and long-term peace to Ukraine and security to the entire world. We urge all countries around the world to participate in the implementation process.

There is no other way to end Russia's military threat to its neighbours and the European way of life than to defeat it on the battlefield in Ukraine.

This war is not only about Ukraine. Russia's brutal attack destroyed global security and endangered all nations. This war must end with the triumph of international law and the UN Charter. Justice must be restored for Ukraine, Europe, and the whole world.

Thank you for your solidarity and support.