Don't help Russia justify itself and don't let the murderers call you their brothers and sisters - address by the President of Ukraine to the participants of the 90th annual meeting of the US Conference of Mayors
President of Ukraine
4 June 2022 - 09:07
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Dear Mayors of the United States of America!
I am grateful for the opportunity to address you today.
The United States has become a true leader in Ukraine's international support. This is defense, financial and political support. And it is based on a sincere connection between all nations who equally value freedom. On the fact that we, Ukrainians and Americans, equally understand the dangers of tyranny.
The world has seen various tyrannies. At different times. Under different flags. And all of them are united by the fact that they despise the rights and freedoms of ordinary people. Tyrants do not recognize the rights and freedoms of local government. And it is usually the free people in the cities which still choose freedom that put an end to the history of tyrants.
And to put an end to this, tyrants must not be allowed to enjoy ties to the free world. Any ties.
You know that dozens of American cities maintain the so-called "brotherhood" with the cities of the Russian Federation. Chicago and Moscow. Jacksonville and Murmansk. San Diego - Vladivostok. Albany and Tula. What do these connections give you? Probably nothing. But they give Russia the opportunity to say that it is not isolated, even after beginning such a war.
Each of you sees how the Russian army wages war and what it is doing to the peaceful cities of Ukraine. Its cruelty is no different from the tyrannies of earlier times.
Mariupol was a port city, an industrial center with half a million people. Russia simply destroyed it. There is nothing there but ruins.
Just as the city of Volnovakha and dozens of other cities that the Russian army burns daily. Burns with bombs, missiles, artillery.
Just imagine - since February 24, Russia has used almost 2,500 different missiles against Ukraine. The vast majority of them were aimed at cities. At city infrastructure. And some of the most deadly Russian missiles are designed and manufactured in Yekaterinburg. Which, by the way, is still a sister city of San Jose.
I'm sure many of you have seen and heard what Russian soldiers did in our city of Bucha. Mass killings, torture of people. The bodies of the killed locals laid on the streets while Russian soldiers remained in the city.
One of those Russian brigades that did all this against our people in Bucha was a brigade from the Khabarovsk Krai of Russia. And the capital of this region - the city of Khabarovsk is still a sister city of Portland. What for? I leave you this question.
Now, in order to restore normal life in Bucha and in the Bucha community, almost 2,000 buildings need to be rebuilt. You understand better than anyone else what this means for any city, when 2,000 houses are destroyed or damaged by missiles and hostilities. These are ordinary houses, ordinary schools, sports facilities, medical institutions.
In total, as of February 24, 3,620 settlements in Ukraine faced Russian occupation - both large cities and small towns. In each of them there is destruction. Many of them are simply not suitable for civilized life. This is the reality that Russia has brought. When there is no connection in cities, there is no electricity, there is simply no water. When bombs and missiles can destroy any building - even a kindergarten or university. When the whole city can just be burned.
But I believe that Ukraine will be able to defend freedom, and tyranny will definitely lose. People will again be able to live peacefully and safely in Ukrainian cities. And to make it happen faster, we have planned an ambitious project to rebuild Ukraine after this war.
I invite you - your cities, your companies, your business and professionals - to take part in this project. You can also become the people who choose to defend freedom and thus put an end to the history of tyranny.
Thanks to the leadership of the United States and the support of all our partners, Ukraine's bravery receives the necessary weapons to fight for freedom. But the economic advantage of a free world must also be demonstrated.
That is why we are already inviting our partners to join the reconstruction of Ukraine. Take patronage over a city, region, or industry that has been destroyed by Russian strikes. And rebuild them with the latest technology. This may be the largest economic project of our time, which will strengthen Ukraine, each country and each company that will participate in the post-war reconstruction. You can join the implementation of this great project. This will definitely mean economic growth, innovation and new social opportunities for both our country and your cities.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
The beginning of the annual Conference of Mayors of the United States this year coincided with the 100th day of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine. There are many issues on your agenda that concern the internal life of your country, your cities and communities. But remember - the full-scale war in Europe and the destabilization of world markets, which occurred because of Russia, directly affect the lives of every nation and all cities of the free world.
Therefore, call for even more pressure on Russia. Don't help it justify itself. Don't maintain ties with it. And please do not allow those who have become murderers to call you their brothers and sisters.
Help Ukraine. Help even more. Participate in the reconstruction of our cities, our communities that are liberated from the occupiers.
Thank you very much for your attention.
Glory to Ukraine!
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