President on Tuesday addressed Ukrainians on the “Day of Dignity and Freedom,” which commemorates the 2004 “Orange Revolution” and the 2014 “Revolution of Dignity” pro-democracy protests.
The latter was sparked by the after Ukraine’s former pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych scrapped an agreement to bring Ukraine closer to the EU.
By February 2014, the Euromaidan protests became known as the Revolution of Dignity, and deadly clashes between police and protesters ended with Yanukovych being removed by parliament. Russia called the ouster a coup, and later in 2014 annexed Crimea and occupied parts of eastern Ukraine.
“Ten years ago, we started a new page in the struggle. Ten years ago, Ukrainians launched their first counteroffensive; against lawlessness, against the attempt to deprive us of our European future. Against our subjugation,” Zelenskyy said.
Zelenskyy says Maidan protest ‘the first victory in today’s war’
In his address, the Ukrainian president said that by winning the Revolution of Dignity, Ukrainians achieved “the first victory in .”
He linked the Maidan protests to Russia’s ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine, saying that “the defense of democratic values turns into the defense of sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Zelenskyy called on Ukrainians to unite and for the world to show support and solidarity with Ukraine.
“When the civilized world begins to seek compromises with terrorists and make concessions to tyrants. Then we all definitely lose,” he said.
Ukraine hopes for European future
Standing in front of the flags of Ukraine and the European Union, Zelenskyy said that the country’s candidate status and further accession negotiations should .
“Year after year, step by step, we do our best to ensure that our star shines in the circle of stars on the EU flag, which symbolizes the unity of the peoples of Europe. The star of Ukraine,” he said.
The EU Commission recommended earlier this month that , and suggested that member states grant candidate status to Georgia.
Solidarity visits to Ukraine
Several European politicians arrived in Kyiv to express solidarity with the war-torn country, including Moldova’s President Maia Sandu, European Council President Charles Michel and German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.
Along with Zelenskyy and his wife, Olena, Sandu laid flowers at the memorial to the protesters known in Ukraine as the “Heavenly Hundred,” who lost their lives during the protests in early 2014.
“Their legacy lives on,” she wrote on X, previously known as Twitter.
Ursula von der Leyen in a post on X said that the winter nights of Euromaidan have changed Europe forever, adding that the future of Ukraine lies in the European Union. “The future that the Maidan fought for has finally begun,” she wrote.
And the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, also said that Ukrainians defended their European choice ten years ago, just “as they are doing now. “Europe stands with Ukraine. Then, now and in the future — Ukraine belongs in our European family,” he wrote on X.
dh/wmr (AFP, Reuters)
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