For the first time, Ukraine is celebrating the Day of Ukrainian Statehood today.
In a speech published on the presidential site on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the week “symbolic” because it marks the first time they will hold a day of statehood.
Zelensky said they will “celebrate at the time of such a brutal war — in the sixth month of it. After eight years of war in Donbas. But we will celebrate, despite all, because Ukrainians cannot be broken.”
Unlike Ukraine’s independence day, which falls on Aug. 24, the Day of Ukrainian Statehood will connect Ukrainian people through their experiences, culture and an identity that Zelensky described as stretching back more than a millennium.
“Now, in many exploits of our warriors, in the wisdom of our people in battles, even simply in the conversations of ordinary Ukrainians about what is happening, we can see, we can hear and understand examples of the same characters but hundreds of years ago,” Zelensky said.
On Thursday, Zelensky addressed citizens saying that the history of Ukraine’s statehood can be described in one sentence: “We existed, exist and will exist!”
He also told lawmakers that Ukraine’s resistance against Russia will be remembered.
“We will become not a new legend of heroic resistance, but a state of winners,” Zelensky told lawmakers inside the Ukrainian Parliament. “Not 300 Spartans, worthy of films, books and plays, but the multimillion-strong nation-hero which is worthy of living, worthy of winning and which will teach others in the world how to defend themselves and how to win.”
“We will be remembered not as those who tried, but as those who preserved, strengthened and passed our state to our children so that they could pass it on to their children,” Zelensky added.
The Ukrainian president highlighted that even after more than 150 days of war with Russia, Ukraine was still able to celebrate.
“Due to the cruelty of history — after several unfortunate historic turns — our state was not mentioned for some time. Then they’ve been saying that Ukraine is somewhere next to Russia, or is even allegedly a part of it. We know that now they definitely know: Ukraine is the only state in the world that has the bravery to beat Russia, beat on our land notwithstanding any of its threats,” the president said.