Zelensky addresses the nation following Russia abandoning Minsk peace process

22 February 2022, 10:43 AM

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the nation in the early hours of Feb. 22 following the Kremlin’s recognition of the non-government-controlled areas of Donbas as independent “republics.”

Here is his address in full.

“Great people of (our) great country!

Neither we, nor our state have time to spare for lengthy history lectures. Instead of talking about the past, I will speak of the present and future.

I am in front of (a map of) Ukraine. Its internationally recognized borders will remain as they are, regardless of what Russia says or does. Just as we will remain calm and confident – I want to thank our citizens for this. You are once again proving that Ukrainians are intelligent and wise, keeping their cool no matter what, and respond calmly, carefully, and maturely. We’ve been ready for anything for a while now, and there is no reason to lose sleep.

Video of day

We had a meeting of our (National) Security and Defense council tonight. Ukraine unequivocally considers Russia’s latest moves as an assault on our sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia bears full responsibility for the consequences of its actions.

(Russia’s) Recognition of the occupied areas on Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts as independent could mean that Russia is unilaterally abandoning the Minsk Accords and ignoring the outcomes of the Normandy format (talks). This subverts the peace process and destroys (diplomatic) talks frameworks.

What Russia did today and could to tomorrow legitimizes its troops, which have been in the occupied areas of Donbas since 2014.

A country that has waged war for eight years cannot claim to be in favor of peace.

I discussed the situation with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, U.S. President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and President of the European Council Charles Michel. I also intend to speak with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

What comes next? We seek peace and will act accordingly. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has requested immediate consultations with the members of the U.N. Security Council, on the basis of the Budapest Memorandum. I called a session of the U.N. Security Council and a special OSCE meeting.

We insist on the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission being used in tis full capacity to avoid provocations and further escalation. (We have also) Initiated an emergency Normandy Four summit.

We expect our partners to react with clear and effective support (for Ukraine). It’s crucial for us to see who are (Ukraine’s) true friends and partners, and who will continue only to threaten Russia with words.

We are committed to a diplomatic solution (of the conflict) and will not be provoked. Our borders are secure, our partners support us.

In accordance with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, Ukraine reserves the right for individual and collective self-defense, (including the) established territorial defense system.

We have no trouble telling provocations apart from a genuine military offensive.

We have truth on our side, and we will never keep the truth from you. As soon as we notice any shifts, as soon as we register rising risks (of a major military offensive) – all of you will be informed.

For now, there is no reason to act chaotically. We will do everything in our power to keep it that way.

We are committed to a path of peace and diplomacy, and will follow it unerringly.

But we are on our land. We are not afraid of anyone or anything, we don’t owe anything to anyone, and we will not cede anything to anyone. Of that we are confident. This isn’t February 2014, it’s February 2022: we are a different country, with a different army, with but one goal in mind – peace. Peace in Ukraine.

Glory to Ukraine!”

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