Zelenskiy’s New Year address: “Ukraine is stronger”

Zelenskiy’s 20-minute video message, recorded from his Kyiv office, did not mention the situation of Ukraine on the 1,000-km (600-mile) front line or the progress of a counteroffensive launched in June.

In his New Year address on Monday morning, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine had become stronger in facing serious challenges as the war with Russia enters its second year.

He also did not talk about the political and diplomatic issues in obtaining ongoing military and other support from the U.S. Congress and the European Union.

Zelenskiy said the war had taught Ukrainians to resist Russian attacks and cope with difficulties, such as blackouts, the operation of industry and threats to shipping its exports.

“The main result of the year, its main achievement: Ukraine has become stronger. Ukrainians have become stronger,” Zelenskiy said in the address, accompanied by footage of cities under attack and meetings with leaders of Ukraine’s Western allies.

“When, at the start of 2023 … we overcame, without exaggeration, the hardest winter in history. When we showed that Ukrainians are more resilient than cold and darkness. Stronger than power outages and blackout threats.

“Ukrainians are stronger than any blockades and vetoes, disbelief or skepticism,” he said.

Zelenskiy highlighted Ukrainian successes in confronting and attacking Russia’s navy in the Black Sea, verified “by their large landing ships, missile-armed and patrol corvettes on the bottom of the sea.”

Ukrainians were “stronger than any intrigues,” he said, in forming groups of Western countries for enhancing Ukrainian air defences and promising to supply F-16 fighter aircraft.

“We will surely see them in our skies,” he said of the F-16s, while reiterating a promise to increase domestic weapons production and produce at least 1 million drones in the next year.

And in a reference to questions of ensuring that the Ukrainian military had enough troops, he encouraged those who are “still undecided to make a brave choice next year, to defend their own country, to work for it, to help it.”

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