Address by the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov

2022-03-16 21:00:00 | ID: 66926

«Dear Ukrainians!

The third week of our heroic defence against a full-scale Russian invasion is coming to an end.

The situation remains difficult, especially in the south and east. But more and more often our defenders are moving into counterattacks in various parts of the front: from Kyiv and Mykolaiv regions to the Luhansk region.

Burning enemy helicopters in Chornobayivci in the Kherson region is a demonstration of what is now happening to the occupying forces.

Burials of invaders destroyed on our land have already taken place in over 200 Russian cities and villages. This number will keep on growing every single day.

The Kremlin is no longer able to hide the devastating losses of Russian airborne forces. Separate units from Kostroma, Kamyshyna, Ulan-Ude and other regions are all together going to hell.

The same destination awaits the marines from the Pacific fleet that are being hastily prepared for battle. It is because the invader`s forces are weakened by the effective actions of our army. These units will receive a “warm” welcome as well.

The enemy continues to commit war crimes against civilians. In 20 days, the death of 103 Ukrainian children killed by Russian invaders were confirmed. The Russians destroyed and damaged over 400 educational institutions, over 100 Ukrainian hospitals and thousands of residential houses.

A real act of genocide is being committed against Mariupol. This is state terrorism on the part of Russia. This frenzy of mad maniacs cannot by justified by any means.

We will avenge every Ukrainian citizen. All criminals will be punished. Several Russian generals were already killed. The time will come for others too. We will do everything to make it happen.

These days we are working around the clock with NATO, the EU and on the bilateral level to strengthen our defence. It is hard to name a Minister of Defence of a partner country with whom I haven`t spoken in the last couple of days by phone or videocall. The world has indeed changed. The Rubicon is crossed. Today the free world is Ukraine-centric. And we are doing everything possible to make our army and people fell it.

We agreed not to report on specific results. I just want to say that there is positive news. The enemy will get to hear them first from our soldiers on the front line.

I would also like to address those citizens of Russia, especially public figures, who suddenly “saw the light”.

You don`t want to be associated with the cannibalistic regime which had suited you before but suddenly ran amok. I understand you.

However, today is precisely 8 years since the war crime: an imitation of the “referendum” that the Kremlin orchestrated in Crimea. The war is going on not for 20 days, but for over 8 years. You may have forgotten about that, but we remember everything.

Not a single Ukrainian will ever believe your words. Never. No one will believe that you “did not know” or that you “were deceived”. No one.

“Seeing the light” is not enough. If you want to mitigate your guilt, active repentance is needed. That is what the law says. So act.

Active resistance to this military gamble, and not by posts from a Turkish or Israeli hotel, but on the streets of Russian cities – this is the way to change your place in the list of war criminals. Do not imitate. Act.

On a separate note, I would like to address the population of occupied regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, Crimea and Sevastopol.

We still consider you as Ukrainian citizens. Those who have not become collaborators or committed crimes are safe.

If now you are being mobilized into the Russian army by force, do everything not to get to the front. Run away, hide.

If this cannot be avoided, search for ways to immediately side with the Ukrainian army. Your will save your life. And this is the main thing. We will deal with the rest later.

For those who betrayed their military oath in 2014, I have the following message.

You have committed a crime against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. You know better than anyone else that the Russians treat you as potential traitors. That is why they are sending you to the most dangerous hot spots. Your life is worth nothing to them.

You see that Russia will certainly lose this war. If you want to live, run away. Or surrender.

If you surrender along with military equipment, provide important information or help us capture Russian officers, this will be considered as mitigating circumstances when bringing you to justice. You will save your life, serve your sentence and get a chance to start over again in peace. Just don`t hesitate for too long.

And once again, I address all fellow Ukrainians.

Dear friends, we are mighty!

Every day the Ukrainian people are demonstrating an unyielding will to win. These are the times of true heroes.

Many challenges still lie ahead. The enemy will hurt us, destroy a part of the things we love. But every day we are taking a step to crush this enemy and live freely. The way many generations of Ukrainians dreamt of. And fought for.

Now is the time of trials for our generations. And we are passing them with dignity!

Hold the line!

Glory to Ukraine»!