Ukraine always returns – President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's address on the occasion of the first anniversary of the liberation of Kherson from Russian occupation

Ukraine always returns – President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address on the occasion of the first anniversary of the liberation of Kherson from Russian occupation

Dear Ukrainian men and women!

Today marks the first anniversary of the liberation of Kherson from Russian occupation. The city-hero. The city-symbol. The city of hope. The city of our people who did not surrender to the enemy force and inspired everyone around us and the whole world with their resistance. These are our blue and yellow flags, which repeatedly proved on the streets of Kherson and in many homes and apartments that Ukraine is one, from the northern border to our sea. These are months without communication, without information, but with faith – faith in Ukraine. These are the efforts of many people who saved, helped, approached… And, of course, these are emotions – special emotions when you see your people are returning, and when you know that Ukraine does not forget about its cities and villages occupied by the enemy, just like about Kherson. The entire south of Ukraine learned last year that Russia never comes “forever,” no matter how many times they repeat it. Because Ukraine always returns – always! When we know our goal. When it’s a shared goal. When we are united. And when we unite others around the Ukrainian goal. Today is one of the anniversaries that shapes our Ukrainian confidence that we can.

Thanks to the Kherson operation, the right bank of the Dnipro was cleared of the occupant. Our warriors then liberated a significant part of Kherson region, provided additional protection to Mykolaiv, Odesa, and other cities and villages in the south of our state, and solidified Ukraine’s success in the battle for the Black Sea. Crimea then in the smiles of the people of Kherson, in the words of joy when they welcomed our soldiers – Crimea also felt its future, saw how close we were.

I am proud of all our warriors – all brigades, every battalion, all soldiers and commanders who fought last year. And everyone who is now leading our state through a difficult, painful, but essential – vitally essential! – marathon to the guaranteed freedom of Ukraine. Independence, which has the power to transcend from generation to generation, is truly achieved in battles, draws energy from the unity of the people, and fortifies its spirit precisely when it hears the gratitude of those liberated from the enemy – those who waited for Ukraine, and whose faith has been fulfilled.

Dear people!

Throughout this year, Russia has been seeking revenge for the freedom of Kherson and our other liberated cities. Daily shelling. Bombs, artillery, rockets… Just from yesterday evening until this morning, almost forty drones and rockets… Ballistic attacks against Kyiv, drones, and rockets against Odesa, Kharkiv region. Deliberate torture by the enemy. Every day! But not a single day of despair for us!

None of us should underestimate the strength of the enemy against us. Ukraine knows that the enemy is not weak, restless. But Ukraine knows how to overcome it! Like last year, Russia seeks to destroy our country, our lives. Like last year, we must destroy the occupier. Ukraine is doing this… And today, dear Ukrainians, please thank those who have put their strength and lives on the line to defend Ukraine and Ukrainians. Those who are fighting now. Those on combat posts now. Those who are training to reinforce combat brigades. And those who are working now to ensure our soldiers have ammunition and weapons, armor and aviation, air defense and electronic warfare… So that we can provide protection to Ukrainians and so that Ukraine can reclaim freedom for its land.

I thank everyone who is currently working in Kherson to protect our people! Thanks to all who are fighting on the left bank of Kherson region for the sake of Ukraine! Thanks to all who defend Ukrainian lives!

Our lives will surely triumph.

Glory to Ukraine!