Dear Americans! All states, cities and communities. Everyone who, who appreciates freedom and justice. All those who value it as much as we, Ukrainians, in all our cities, in every family. I hope that my words of respect and gratitude will resonate in the heart of every American. Madam Vice President, I thank you for your efforts in helping Ukraine. Madam Speaker, you boldly visited Ukraine during a full-scale war, thank you very much. It is a great honor, a great privilege to be here. Dear participants of the Congress, representatives of both parties, who also visited Kyiv. Dear congressmen and senators from both sides, who I am sure will visit Ukraine in the future. Dear representatives of our diaspora, present in this hall and scattered throughout the country. Dear journalists.
I am honored to be in the US Congress and speak to you and all Americans. Despite everything and despite the gloomy scenarios, Ukraine did not fall. Ukraine is alive and fighting. And this gives me reason to share with you our first joint victory.
We defeated Russia in the battle for the minds of the world. We have no fear.
And no one in the world should have. The Ukrainians won this victory, and this gives us the courage that inspires the whole world. The Americans won this victory, and that is why you were able to unite the world community in defense of freedom and international law. This victory was won by the Europeans, and therefore Europe is now stronger and more independent than ever.
Russian tyranny has lost control of us and will never again affect our minds. Nevertheless, we must do everything possible to ensure that the countries of the global South achieve the same victory. I know one thing: the Russians will also have a chance to become free, but only when they defeat the Kremlin in their heads. But the battle continues, and we must defeat the Kremlin on the battlefield. This is a battle not only for territory, for this or that part of Europe. This is a battle not only for the life, freedom and security of Ukrainians or any other people that Russia is trying to take over. This battle will determine what kind of world our children and grandchildren will live in, and then their children and grandchildren. It will determine whether it will be a democracy - for Ukrainians and for Americans, for everyone. This battle cannot be frozen or postponed. It cannot be ignored, hoping that the ocean or something else will provide protection.
From the United States to China, from Europe to Latin America, and from Africa to Australia, the world is too interconnected and interdependent for any one person to stand aside and at the same time be safe when such a battle continues. Our two nations are allies in this battle. And next year will be a turning point. This will be a time when Ukrainian courage and American resolve must guarantee the future of our freedom. The freedom of people who defend their values.
Ladies and gentlemen. Americans. Yesterday, before arriving in Washington, I was at the front line, in our Bakhmut. In our fortress in the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass. Since May, the Russian military and mercenaries have been attacking it non-stop. They attack Bahmut day and night. But Bakhmut stands. Last year, 70,000 civilians lived there, and now there are only a few people left. Every inch of this land is soaked in blood. The rumble of artillery is heard every hour there. The Donbass trenches change hands several times a day in fierce fighting, even hand-to-hand combat. But the Ukrainian Donbas is worth it. The Russians are doing everything possible to destroy Bakhmut and our other beautiful cities.
The occupiers have a significant advantage in artillery and ammunition. They have many more missiles and aircraft than we do. But our Defense Forces are standing. And we are all proud of them. Russia's tactics are primitive. She burns and destroys everything she sees. She sent the bandits to the front line. She sent prisoners to war. She threw all her strength against us, just as another tyranny threw hers against the free world in the battle of the Bulge. Just like the brave American soldiers who held the line and fought back against the Nazi forces during Christmas 1944, the brave Ukrainian soldiers stand up to Putin's forces this Christmas. Ukraine holds its positions and will never give up.
This is the front line: brutal tyranny directed at the lives of free people. Your support is critical to not only survive the fierce battles, but to reach the tipping point. To win on the battlefield. We have artillery. Yes. Thank you. Is it enough? To be honest, not really. In order for Bakhmut to be not just a fortress that holds back the Russian army, but for it to completely retreat, more weapons and shells are needed. If so, then the battle for Bakhmut, like the battle at Saratoga, will change the course of the war for our independence and freedom.
If your Patriot systems stop Russian terror against our cities, it will allow Ukrainian patriots to work fully to defend our freedom. When Russia cannot reach our cities with its artillery, it tries to destroy them with rocket strikes. Moreover, Russia has found an ally in its genocidal policy - Iran. Hundreds of Iranian deadly drones sent to Russia have become a threat to our critical infrastructure. So one terrorist found another. And it's only a matter of time before they hit our other allies if we don't stop them now. We must do it.
I believe that there should be no taboos in the union of Ukraine and the United States. Ukraine has never asked American soldiers to fight on our soil instead of us. I assure you that the Ukrainian soldiers themselves are excellent at handling American tanks and aircraft. Financial assistance is also extremely important. I would like to thank you both for the financial assistance packages that you have already provided us with and for those that you may decide on. Your money is not charity. This is an investment in global security and democracy, which we treat with the utmost responsibility.
Russia can stop its aggression if it wants to, but you can hasten our victory, I'm sure of it. This will prove to any potential aggressor that no one will be able to violate national borders, atrocities and control people against their will.
It is naive to expect steps towards peace from Russia, which likes to be a terrorist state. The Russians are still poisoned by the Kremlin.
Restoring the international legal order is our common task. We need peace. Ukraine has already made relevant proposals, and I just discussed them with President Biden - our formula for peace. Ten points that can and should be implemented for our common security, guaranteed for a decade ahead, and the possibility of holding the Summit. I am happy to emphasize that today President Biden supported our peace initiative. Each of you, ladies and gentlemen, can help make it happen so that America's leadership remains unchallenged, bicameral and bipartisan.
You can increase the sanctions so that Russia feels how destructive its aggression is. It is in your power to help us bring to justice all those who started this unprovoked and criminal war. Let's do that. Let the terrorist state answer for terror and aggression and compensate for all the losses caused by its war. Let the world see that the United States is here.
Ladies and gentlemen. Americans. In two days we will celebrate Christmas. Maybe by candlelight. Not because it's romantic. Because we don't have electricity. Millions of people will have neither heating nor water. All this will be the result of Russian missile and drone strikes on our critical infrastructure. But we don't complain. We do not argue whose life is easier. Your well-being is the result of your national security, the result of your struggle for independence and your many victories. We, Ukrainians, will go through the war for our independence and freedom with the same dignity and success. We will celebrate Christmas.
And even if there is no electricity, the light of our faith in ourselves will not go out.
If Russian missiles fly at us, we will do everything to protect ourselves. If Ukrainians are attacked by Iranian drones and we have to go down into bomb shelters on Christmas Eve, we will still sit down at the festive table and support each other. And we do not need to know the desire of everyone, because we know that all of us, millions of Ukrainians, want one thing - victory. Only victories.
We have already built a strong Ukraine with strong people, a strong army and strong institutions. Together with you. We develop reliable security guarantees for our country, all of Europe and the world. Together with you. And together with you we will put in place all those who challenge freedom. This will be the basis for the defense of democracy in Europe and throughout the world. Before Christmas, I want to say thank you. To all of you. Thanks to every American family that cherishes the warmth of their home and wishes the same warmth to others. Thank you to President Biden and both parties in Congress and the House of Representatives for your invaluable assistance. Thanks to your cities and your citizens who supported Ukraine this year, hosted our people, hung out our national flags, and helped us. Thank you all. From all those who are now on the front line. From all those who are waiting for victory.
Today, as never before, the words of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt are appropriate: "The American people, in their righteous strength, will achieve absolute victory." The Ukrainian people will also win. Absolutely right. I know that everything depends on us. From the Armed Forces of Ukraine. But how much depends on the world. How much in the world depends on you.
Yesterday in Bakhmut, our heroes handed over the flag to me. Battle flag. The flag of those who defend Ukraine, Europe and the world at the cost of their lives. They asked me to bring this flag to the US Congress - members of the House of Representatives and senators, whose decisions can save millions of people.
So let those decisions be made. Let this flag remain with you, ladies and gentlemen. This flag is a symbol of our victory in this war. We stand, we fight and we will win. Because we are one. Ukraine, America and the whole free world. God bless our brave warriors and citizens. May God bless the United States of America forever. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Glory to Ukraine!