Inaugural address of the President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko to the Ukrainian people on Independence Square
My dear Ukrainians!
I came here from the hall of Verkhovna Rada. There I pronounced the solemn words of oath, written down in the Constitution. They remain unchanged. But Ukraine became a different one, we became different.
We have thrown off the load of the past from the shoulders. Nobody will ever dare to tell us how to live, who to elect.
I became President by will of the Ukrainian people. Together we are its sons and daughters. I want to speak today, looking into your eyes. I am deeply honored to address the free people who keep in the hands the future of the country.
I want to continue the oath before the people. I swear we will change our life.
My victory is the victory of the Ukrainian people and every citizen of Ukraine.
I thank God for it, who gave us faith, hope and love. We won by using them. I pray that we will keep them in the hearts forever.
I thank the Ukrainian people for their high trust.
I thank everybody who responded to my words “I believe in Ukraine. I know my duty. We will win together”. You have opened up a road to the future for the country.
I thank everybody and every citizen, regardless who he/she voted for. My victory is the victory of all of us. Everybody has a right to find a way of development for the country. Everybody has a right to select those political colors which he or she favors. But our common choice are the colors of Ukrainian flag. They join all of us.
I thank my team which has been working for the victory. You, my blood brothers, were firm on the road passed along together. I am confident you will be tireless at work lying ahead of us.
I thank my family, wife, children and grandchildren. You stayed with me in the most hard days. Today you are with me at such a festivity. I believe you will always remain my hope and support.
I deeply honor my father, Uschenko Andriy Andriyovych, for teaching me so much, a teacher from a village in Summy region and he was the prisoner of war in Osventzim camp. The father’s truth guided me in my life and resulted in high honour to become the head of my state. I thank my mother Varvara Tymofiyivna for love and prayer that have protected me. I ask for her forgiveness for all the pain that the maternal heart had to withstand.
Dear friends! I am proud to be together with you at this place!
Two months ago millons of people came to this place, other squares and streets all over Ukraine. Our brothers and sisters, parents and children, friends and neighbors were spending days and nights, in snow and frost. Ukraine listened carefully to every motion and every word said here. The heart of Ukraine was beating in this place. Free people of the whole world, our compatriots in foreign lands, stood side by side with us. On the Independence Square the Ukrainians manifested themselves as a modern Ukrainian nation.
Brave resistance awakened our souls. We all felt that we were the citizens. Dignity, nobleness and mercy were wakened up in us. Armed only by a faith and persuasion, people achieved wonderful and peaceful victory. It is the victory of freedom over tyranny, law over lawlessness, future over the past.
Every citizen of Ukraine became a winner. We obtained honest elections and did not miss our fate on December, 26. We freely chose a way ahead and upwards.
Our choice is prepared by our history.
We have chosen wellbeing, because poverty can not humiliate the land, ploughed up by a tilling plow for the first time in history of humankind.
We have chosen justice, because lawlessness can not become a norm in the state, where the Code of Laws “Ruska Pravda” was drafted thousand years ago .
We have chosen freedom, because tyranny can not prevail over the heirs of cossack republic, where first Constitution in Europe was written three hundred years ago.
We have chosen independence, because we are the descendants of the generations, which had been dreaming about the Ukrainian state for ages, were striving for freedom with sweat and blood.
The Ukrainian state has become the reality. Our choice once again confirmed it. Our victory is the celebration of the statehood. These days we will recall heroes who perished in the fight for the victory, martyrs in Osventzim and GULAGs, victims of famine, deportations and holocaust. They can see us and they are proud of us!
We made our choice, because we remember who we are, whose children and grandchildren. We should not look into the past to find the answers to the challenges of the future. However we will be always caring about parental roots. If we only proceed like this we are going to stay as we are. Only like this we will always be the winners!
Our choice has generated high hopes. I state that they are fair. They are absolutely realistic ones.
We have everything needed for the success. Riches of our land are inexhaustible. Talents of our compatriots are appreciated by the whole world. By labor and the will we will attain everything!
I am the President of the whole Ukraine. I will be held responsible for the operation of coal-mines in Donbass and factories in Prydnistrovya, ports of the Black Sea and Gallychyna trade-routes. I will do my best to provide bread all the time to a peasant in Slobozhanschyna and in Podillya. Riches of Ukraine are riches of its regions. I swear to keep them safe and multiplied!
We, citizens of Ukraine, have become a unified Ukrainian nation. We will not be divided by languages that we speak, religious believes and political views that we choose. We have one Ukrainian fate. We have one national dignity. We are proud of the fact that we are the Ukrainians!
We together have already made an irreversible step towards democracy. Only democracy guards the most valuable things for any person – family and children, peace and rest, labor and wellbeing. The human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity are the greatest values only in a democratic state. Bright palette of languages, cultures and views will become riches of the country only in a democratic Ukraine.
I swear that everybody will be able to teach a child in the language of parents. Everybody will be able to pray in the temple of his/her confession. A right to have his/her own opinion will be guaranteed to everybody. We will be able to listen to each other, because we will have freedom of speech and independent press. Everyone will be enjoying equal rights. An independent court will defend the rights of everybody. I see Ukraine as the state that will be guided by the Rule of Law.
I will create the democratic power - honest, professional, patriotic.
A wall which separates public servant from ordinary people will be destroyed. The renewed authorities will know their duties, work for the benefit of the citizens and the country. To be an official and a member of the opposition will be equally respected – if you serve the country. We will have moral power that will be able to unite the society.
Only in unity and only in democracy we will fulfill our national tasks. You told me about them during numerous meetings. And I will make your will come true.
You want to have work and appropriate salary, it is bitter for you to leave the family while searching the work abroad.
We will create the jobplaces. Everybody, who wants to work, will get work and proper salary. Nothing will limit your initiative, the desire to provide wellbeing to the families. I will support everybody, who gives the job to the others. Honest labor will be respected.
We will become a wealthy nation.
You are striving for justice. I will not leave anybody deprived. The fruits of the economic growth will become accessible to all. We will walk ahead, but not leave behind those, who became ill, who had got tired in one’s old age. I will establish the Government which will be using the budget for the benefit of the people till the last penny. Pensions, assistance, the scope of the social programs will be constantly growing. The health of a person, protection of a mother and a child will become the greatest priorities. We will become a united nation.
You want to get rid of permanent extortions. You want to live and work honestly, get the earned money legally.
We will destroy the system of corruption, bring the economy out of the shadow sector. Taxes will be reduced, but everyone will be paying them. Business will be separated from the power. A budget for anybody will not be a sinecure. Only those people will hold the state positions, whose expenses correspond to the declared profits.
We will become the honest nation.
You want to be masters where you live. You do not everything to be decided for you in offices of the officials. We will return the rights to local communities. Community will be able to handle properly the street, village or the city. You will choose a leader for yourself, earn money and will be the ones who will spend them. We will be the nation of self-governing communities.
You demand to protect the children from seduction, you do not want to live only on means of subsistence. We will protect our spiritual heritage. Together with you I will be tirelessly caring about the garden of the Ukrainian culture, save its ancient and young trees. Our roots will not allow the winds of history to drive us through the deserted field. Our culture will force a world to notice our uniqueness. We will be the nation of high culture!
We will become the modern nation - in a dynamic global world we will be on equal terms. The future of Ukraine is in the best education, modern science, technologies of tomorrow. I will do my best to make the intellect of the nation work at its full capacity. We will become the first and the best!
The Ukrainians will take the seat that they deserve in the community of nations. Ukraine will be neither a buffer nor a field of somebody's competitions. We are ready to respect interests of other states. But for me, as well as for you, national interests of Ukraine are above all!
We by good and respect greet all our neighbors both in the East, and in the West. I will be doing my best for the development of stable collaboration with all countries. Ukraine will become a reliable partner in the fight against the old and new threats: tyranny, war, poverty, natural calamities and terrorism. Common search for ways to safety and prosperity is also the Ukrainian responsibility. We are ready to assume it.
Our road to the future is a path that the United Europe is proceeding along. We and the peoples of Europe belong to one civilization, share the same values. History, economic prospects, interests of people give a clear answer to the question – where we should search our future. Our place is in the European Union. My goal is Ukraine in the United Europe.
In Europe Ukraine will get a historic chance to explore its opportunities. Our national strategy is to achieve the goal, bravely, straightly and persistently. I will introduce the European standards in social life, economy and politics. Every step towards Europe is a new possibility for millions of Ukrainians.
Until recently many people regarded the accession to the European Union as a long way to go. But the free European peoples many times speeded up the pace the time goes by. The wreckages of the Berlin wall, round table in Warsaw and our Independence Square in Kiev have become symbols of rapid changes. Ukraine turns the page in the history of Europe of the third millennium. We are not any more on the side of the European track. We are in the center of Europe.
Dear friends! We set up the ambitious tasks. I am deeply convinced – they will grow into glorious deeds very soon. I will do my best that all Ukrainians, without an exception, start to believe in their own forces and in the country. We have already proved that we could have brave dreams and could work persistently. We are ready for self-sacrifice and able to achieve the success!
We are turning a new page in Ukrainian history. It will be the wonderful one. It will tell to the rest of the world about our unity, about our courage, about our willingness to support each other. This Square occupies the special place in our history. Here we will be multiplying the forces and sharing a gladness. This Square is the symbol of a free nation which believes in its forces and creates the future. It is the nation where yellow and blue flag will always shine. This is the nation where a million voice anthem will be heard.
All, that was intended – would come true. Believe in Ukraine, love Ukraine and serve Ukraine!
Long live people of Ukraine, God be praised and long live Ukraine!
Peace to you!