Volodymyr Zelensky has given more than a thousand speeches since taking office in 2019. That’s what he writes himself in the foreword to “Message from the Ukraine”. The President personally compiled 16 of his most important speeches for the slim volume. He wants to present to the world the values, goals and principles of the Ukrainian people, who have been fighting against Russian aggression for almost a year. Anyone who reads the speeches (sometimes abridged and edited) (again) will get a good idea of what the Ukrainians mean when Zelensky says that only “victory” will end the war. It’s a book about despair and anger, but also a book about true courage and confidence.
“I will be in constant contact with you,” the President promised his citizens on the morning of February 24, 2022. And he kept his word – to this day. Zelensky is practical always on the air, he has the sovereignty of interpretation. And he knows the importance of catchy messages: “When bombs fall on Kyiv, they fall on Europe. When rockets kill Ukrainians, they kill Europeans.” With his staying in Kyiv and his speeches he brought almost the whole world together against Vladimir Putin.
“We are invincible.”
A speech before the war on November 21, 2021 on the “Day of Dignity and Freedom” is also of central importance. The two terms are central. “It’s time to change the way we see ourselves. Ukrainians are not victims, nor are we oppressed or divided or trapped. We are beautiful, strong, intelligent, talented. We are indomitable. We are also indomitable because we have dignity . Ukrainians know a simple truth: that life without freedom is no life at all. (…) That’s why we fight for our freedom, even if it costs us our lives.” That might sound a little too romantic to western ears, but it gets to the heart of how the world has experienced Ukraine since then.
After reading it, the reader still doesn’t know who wrote these often elaborately elaborated speeches, but he knows very well that in the future “no one will say again: Ukraine is somewhere over there, at Russia“.