President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has delivered his annual State of the Union address in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, on Dec. 28, Members of Parliament Oleksiy Goncharenko and Yaroslav Zheleznyak said on Telegram.
The start of the event was postponed for an hour and a half due to ongoing air raid sirens in Kyiv. In total, the presidential address lasted 52 minutes.
Zheleznyak said that, in addition to Zelenskyy, all members of the government were present in parliament, as well as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, foreign diplomats, military personnel, and family members of Ukrainian soldiers who have died in the course of. Ukraine’s defense against a full-scale Russian invasion.
Goncharenko shared video fragments of the president's speech and its key messages. In particular, the president stressed the following:
- The principles that Ukraine must adhere to now are unity, security, and justice
- Ukraine cements the EU and the free world with its struggle
- Ukrainian soldiers are a guarantee that the time of empires will be never back
- Ukraine will develop relations with the countries of Africa and the Global South for the sake of food security
- Ukraine should become a leader in the transformation of its energy sector and a leader in the construction of green energy
- The Ukrainian military-industrial complex will be one of the most technologically progressive
- A mechanism is being developed to hold Russia accountable for war crimes
Zelenskyy also repeatedly emphasized the need for new security guarantees and the reform of international organizations — those "which are supposed to guarantee peace, but are unable to do so."
In his traditional evening video address on Dec. 27, Zelenskyy said that 2023 will be a “crucial year” for Ukraine.
“Of course, this is the liberation of our land from the enemy, as well as the restoration of Ukraine, the return of our people home, the further rapprochement of our state with key partners, the opening of new opportunities for Ukraine in the world – these are all tasks for the near future,” he said.