A Year at War: the Prospects for our Victory

On the anniversary of Russia’s invasion: An Appeal by the ‘First of December Action Group’.
24 February 2023UA DE EN ES FR IT RU

Ініціативна група “Першого грудня”

Ukraine has already won several important victories.

The myth that the Ukrainian State does not exist has been dispelled like the propagandist smokescreen it was. Neither do we hear any more about “the World’s Second Largest Army”: Russian forces in Ukraine have not destroyed Ukrainian independence — they are destroying their former status as a Superpower.

  • War means bloodshed and suffering. Yet the collective sacrifice of millions of Ukrainians has achieved something of which countless preceding generations could only dream: recognition by the world that Ukraine is a nation in its own right.
  • In our lengthy struggle for nationhood, we long fought alone; today we are part of a worldwide coalition and less and less the focus of outside observation. Increasingly, we are the masters of our own destiny.
  • We have successfully clarified Ukraine’s place in the world. “Whom should we align ourselves with? we once argued,” comments Pavlo Kazarin. “Today, at long last, we are beginning to ask ourselves ‘Who should we be?’ ”
  • As the Maidan revolutions and the present war showed us, we do not have to be identical to be united. Soon we shall realise our differences are not a weakness but a strength.
  • Those once ashamed of their Ukrainian origins today take pride in their background.

This list could be extended. All these achievements became possible because we took the side of Truth, Light and Good. If we remain there, we shall keep on winning: we shall go forward with God’s blessing.

We must rejoice in the spiritual strength of our nation and constantly work to enlarge it. That will only make the Light more radiant.

We must write the following into our new Social Contract: it is a crime for our courts to favour of the strong; growing rich at the expense of others should be condemned; theft must be punished; appropriating what belongs to others is a disgrace; trampling others under foot to achieve standing in society is a form of self-humiliation. The war has not yet taught everyone these lessons, but we should not doubt there are people who will speak up for the deprived and the dispossessed.

The authorities should be respected for the good they do — and, at the same time, they must be shown their mistakes. As they battle against authoritarianism and despotism, we must not let our authorities become infected with the same contempt for the individual or be seduced by the domination of violence. If we do, the difference between our world and that of its enemy will vanish.

We must learn to recognise evil and overcome it; we must not give in to its temptations for then it will swallow us up.

We must defend the truth in which we believe, but not allow our thousands of individual truths to fight against each other, tearing apart our land and undermining its security.

If we achieve this, we shall fulfil our mission as citizens and perform our duty to the fallen.

Then victory will be ours.

The First of December Action Group

Olya Hnatyuk, Volodymyr Yermolenko, Yevhen Zakharov, Yosyf Zisels, Ihor Kozlovsky, Myroslav Marynovych, Ihor Yukhnovsky and Yaroslav Yatskiv

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