Hryhoriy Kozlovskyy: Independence Day of Ukraine: we have become stronger

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Hryhoriy Kozlovskyy: Independence Day of Ukraine: we have become stronger

Ukraine celebrates the 31st anniversary of the restoration of independence. If earlier someone could accuse us of gaining sovereignty too easily, now it is clear to everyone: we pay the highest price, choosing the right to our own identity.

This year, the holiday in our country is not very cheerful: instead of traditional celebrations, mourning marches were held throughout Ukraine in honour of Ukrainians who died in this war. Recently, the Ministry of Defense announced the number of Ukrainian soldiers who gave their lives defending our country – more than 9,000. More than 5,000 civilians, including more than 360 children, died as a result of the shelling. And every day the war takes a bloody toll, taking away the best sons and daughters of Ukraine.

But the enemy also suffers losses. According to the General Staff, the losses of the Russian occupiers have already exceeded 45,000. Unlike our army, which tries to save every life, the Russians see their soldiers as ‘cannon fodder’ and do not spare their fighters.

However, against the background of tragic news, there are also positive ones. If in the first days of the war, Ukraine was perceived as a terminally ill child, doomed to die, because it will not be able to resist the fierce enemy, now no one doubts that we will win. In the end, Ukrainians turned out to be a nation of heroes – brave, fearless and ready to defend their land to the end.

Independence Day is a good reason to think about our future. I have a few thoughts on this as well. By killing us and destroying our cities, the enemy achieved the opposite of what he intended. He united the nation. Being Ukrainian, speaking Ukrainian, representing Ukraine in the world has become fashionable and prestigious. The whole world admires Ukraine: on these festive days, yellow and blue flags can be seen on all continents. The ‘Made in Ukraine’ brand has already become a sign of the highest quality all over the world, and we still have something to surprise the world with!

Another obvious conclusion to the 31st anniversary of independence: there is no doubt that Ukraine cannot afford non-aligned neutral status. So, our closest prospect is the European Union and NATO. We have already started work on Euro-Atlantic integration and it is very important to complete it.

Our future is a civilized Europe. However, in order to boldly enter the prestigious club of the best countries in the world, you need to work hard. First of all, to fight corruption, which has eaten our country from top to bottom. Carry out large-scale reforms. Transfer your values and standards to European ones. And boldly move forward, having learned the bitter lesson that our northern neighbour gave us.

In addition to Independence Day, today is another significant date – exactly six months since the beginning of the war. Our obsessed neighbour, who has a morbid passion for memorable dates, has already ‘congratulated’ Ukraine: the air alert map burned all night – dozens of missiles flew to the east, west and south of the country. Yes, the war continues, the danger remains, but we will not be intimidated. During these six months, Ukrainians became even stronger and braver. And most importantly, we do not doubt for a moment that the victory will be ours.

Glory to Ukraine!