As Ukraine Marks 1 Year Since Russia Invaded, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Promises to Fight Until Victory

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy
President of Ukraine Official Website

“We were not defeated. And we will do everything to gain victory this year," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

After a year of war in Ukraine, the nation’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy reflected on loss and encouraged his people to keep fighting for victory. 

“We fiercely fought for every day. And we endured the second day. And then - the third. Three days that we were predicted to last,” Zelenskyy said in a statement to the Ukrainian people. “They threatened that in 72 hours we would not exist. But we survived the fourth day. And then the fifth. And today we have been standing for exactly one year. And we still know: every tomorrow is worth fighting for!”

At least 8,006 Ukrainian civilians, including 487 children, have died since the start of the war. according to the United Nations. The war has left 13,287 injured, including 954 children, the UN reported.

“Our data are only the tip of the iceberg. The toll on civilians is unbearable. Amid electricity and water shortages during the cold winter months, nearly 18 million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Some 14 million people have been displaced from their homes,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said.

In his statement, Zelenskyy addressed the heavy losses felt by Ukrainians. 

“In fact, every Ukrainian has lost someone in the past year. A father, a son, a brother, a mother, a daughter, a sister. A loved one. A close friend, colleague, neighbor, acquaintance. My condolences,” Zelenskyy said. 

“We will not erase their names from the phone or from our own memory. We will never forget them. We will never forgive that. We will never rest until the Russian murderers face deserved punishment,” he continued. 

The Ukrainian president also addressed those who may still be in captivity or living under occupation by Russian forces. 

“Ukraine has not abandoned you, has not forgotten about you, has not given up on you. One way or another, we will liberate all our lands,” said the president. “We will fight and bring back every single one of our captive soldiers. Only all this together will be a victory.”

Zelenskyy concluded his statement with a reflection on the past 12 months and hope for a future victory. 

“It was a year of resilience. A year of care. A year of bravery. A year of pain. A year of hope. A year of endurance. A year of unity,” he said. “We were not defeated. And we will do everything to gain victory this year.”

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