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President's address on the occasion of the Day of Dignity and Freedom
21 November 2014 21:40

"Souls and bodies we'll lay down, all for our freedom…"

We give this promise each time we sing the Anthem.

A year ago this line stopped to be just words. It has become a regular action in the struggle for the state's integrity and the European choice.

Fellow Ukrainians!

On this day, a year ago, Yanukovych pulled the emergency break valve. To stop the natural movement of the Ukrainian express towards Europe. To return it back in time and in space.

He doesn't know the Ukrainian history. For it is unfamiliar for him. If he had read the textbooks, he would have seen the words of our Hetman Pylyp Orlyk.

The associate of Ivan Mazepa, the author of the first Ukrainian constitution written 300 years ago: "The people always has the right to protest against oppression...".

Worthy descendants haven't forgotten the instructions of the worthy ancestor. That is why the Revolution of Dignity has broken out. Millions of people have stood up against a handful of villains.

What was only a dream one year ago is transforming into reality now. Though not as fast as desired. Freedoms have returned: freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom of protest. We have switched from dictatorship to parliamentary-presidential democracy. We have signed, ratified and finally started implementing the Association Agreement with the EU.

You think it happened automatically? I and our diplomats had to make enormous efforts to overcome pressure and blackmail from the East, to dispel certain doubts and hesitations in the West.

Early elections to the Parliament are another step to meet the demands of the Revolution of dignity.

Hordes of walkers knocked my doors with the proposal to leave everything as it was. They guaranteed full loyalty of MPs.

But I have taken a firm position and dissolved the Parliament. Fair, transparent and democratic elections have renewed the Parliament by more than a half. It is a fresh blood that should heal our entire political organism.

Effect from lustration will be also positive. I have signed the respective law a month ago and the purification of the authorities provided for by it becomes more and more efficient.

The laws on the national anti-corruption bureau and the new version of the law on public prosecution will enter into force after the New Year.

I am not ashamed of reporting to you. Despite the foreign aggression, in a struggle with forces of the past, I am fulfilling the demands of the rebellious people step-by-step. I have promised that on Maidan.

Have I made mistakes? Definitely, for only those who do nothing do not make mistakes. I am open to criticism. I hear it and take it into account.

I am not satisfied with the speed of reforms and the pace of struggle against corruption.

We have finally broken the corruption vertical through which bribes from all over the country have been taken. But it is only the top of the iceberg and the beginning of the struggle.

I have completed the creation of preconditions for changes with early parliamentary elections. Next week, the first meeting of the newly elected Verkhovna Rada is to be held. I will immediately submit the candidacy of Prime Minister proposed by the coalition under the Constitution for approval by the Parliament.

Based on the unity of democratic forces, I expect the coalition to support my proposal to put forward Arseniy Yatsenyuk for this position. But the composition of the Government should be fully updated.

Reforms should start immediately. Their goal is to gradually achieve the European standards of living for us to be able to apply for the membership in the European Union in 2020. The draft coalition agreement goes about this.

For the first time, the parties and deputies didn't share posts, but worked out the detailed plan of fundamental changes in the country under joint responsibility. And they should be the next stage of our Revolution.

The previous night, five pro-European parties finalized the coalition agreement. This is a small but very nice gift to the Day of Dignity and Freedom.

I have recently met with relatives of the fallen Ukrainians from the Heavenly Hundred. Today, I have signed the decree on awarding the title of Heroes to all our sisters and brothers from the Heavenly Hundred.

The memory of them will exist until Ukraine rescued by them lives. I'm sure, that means forever.

Fellow Ukrainians!

The debate about the choice between the EU and the Customs Union, which was held before Maidan was just a hype. At that time our neighbors with the fifth column inside Ukraine have solved everything. For us and without us.

Complete dismantling of the Ukrainian statehood was being held rapidly. Their plan of quiet liquidation was disrupted. That's why they started a war against us.

They wanted to forcefully erase the country from the map of Europe, but the enemy grossly miscalculated. He made us stronger.

Love to the Fatherland, joint struggle of Ukrainian- and Russian-speaking people for their Homeland, for freedom, dignity, right to the future - it all cleaned the division of the country on ethnic, linguistic and religious grounds.

We have common enemies, common problems, but most importantly – a common country.

We all, without exception, want normal development and peace, the way to which is opened by my Peace plan and the Minsk protocol recognized by the whole world.

Those who stood on Maidan and those who then stood aside are now collectively defending Ukraine from the external aggression, from the direct invasion of Russia.

Together we build a new country. And more than ever we need national unity, because the conflict in the country will destroy us.

Thank you, dear and beloved, for courage, patriotism, endurance and patience.

Thank you for realizing the difficulty of the situation. One cannot correct it with magic.

A special bow to you, valiant Ukrainian army, which holds the line in the East in the Patriotic War of 2014.

And to you, volunteers. To everyone who joined the powerful nationwide movement in support of the Army and the National Guard.

Congratulations to all on the Day of Dignity and Freedom!

Glory to Ukraine!

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