On the anniversary of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė notes the sacrificial and courageous struggle of the Ukrainian people for statehood and freedom as well as for the future of a free, rule-based world.
“Exactly one year ago, a new phase of Russia’s war against Ukraine began, in which the brutal aggression and aim to wipe Ukraine off the face of the earth are no longer even attempted to be disguised. The aim to destroy its cities, kill its people, silence its language and culture, obliterate Ukraine from the world map and history. And then to go further – to destroy the unity of the West like a house of cards and to turn the rule-based world order into chaos, with brute force as the only remaining ‘value’. Yet Ukraine will prevail, and it will be the triumph of a free and brave people over an aggressor with an obsession with imperial grandeur. The victory of a proud country that refuses to give up, whose struggle is admired by the whole of the Free World, which has shown extraordinary unity, focus and compassion in a difficult time,” said Prime Minister Šimonytė.
“Lithuania has demonstrated citizenship, solidarity and courage over the past year and has become a support for Ukrainians, where people have opened their homes to Ukrainians and are actively donating and supporting Ukraine in every way they can. This is a Lithuania that we can all be proud of, and that I am proud of,” Head of Government added.
During the last year, the world has witnessed evidence of Russia’s war crimes and crimes against humanity in Irpin, Borodianka, Bucha, thousands of targeted attacks on civilians and public infrastructure, shelling of energy facilities, and destruction of entire cities like Mariupol, where nothing but rubble remains. But we have also seen the united response of world’s democracies to Russia’s aggression, and joint efforts to help Ukraine achieve victory.
“Ukrainians know very well that only freedom and victory can give meaning to all the suffering and sacrifices they have endured, and I have no doubt that they will not stop fighting. And today in Lithuania we must encourage each other not to get tired, not to get used to it, not to settle down, not to be discouraged that the victory is not quick and easy, but to stand together with Ukraine and support it until victory. Because the darkest hour is always before dawn. And the dawn is breaking”, said Prime Minister Šimonytė.
Lithuania, together with the European Union and the entire democratic world, will continue to support Ukraine, will firmly uphold the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, will support Ukraine on its path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration, will never recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea or any other Ukrainian territories, will seek the international accountability of all Russian officials responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and crime of aggression by establishing a Special Tribunal, and will continue to advocate for the strongest possible European Union sanctions against the aggressor, Russia, and against Belarus, its supporter in this war, Head of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania emphasised.