Monday, February 27, 2023

Washington, D.C.



ADMINISTRATOR POWER: Thank you, everybody. It is my great privilege to be here with you today. I brought my children, Declan and Rian. Well, thank you for that. They'll be grateful for that. But I brought them, to bring home for them, that the fight in Ukraine is just not – it’s not only about the right of children in Ukraine to live without fear of attack. To live with the knowledge that they can shape their own futures. To live, knowing that it can be warm in winter again in the future. It is not only for the children of Ukraine that the Ukrainian people are fighting, but they are fighting for free children and their rights, and their safety, and their dignity everywhere. So thank you, Ukraine. Thank you.

I want to just underscore the comments that were made, the praise that was given to your mbassador here in the United States. Ambassador Markarova is special. She is relentless. She is unbelievably effective at bringing home the human and the strategic stakes of this conflict. And we are all so incredibly fortunate that she is representing Ukraine at this time. Thank you, Ambassador.

When Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion a year ago, he thought that Ukraine’s resistance would crumble, that he could claim a sovereign nation as part of his own. That he had started a fight that he would quickly win. But today it is Ukraine who is winning. By resisting Putin’s onslaught. By showing authoritarians that democracy still stands by emaining strong, resilient, proud and free. These victories belong to the Ukrainian people who persist but it cannot go without mention – who persist at unbearable cost, heartbreaking cost.

To the engineers creating portable stoves to help the army stay warm. – thank you. To the doctors leaving their day jobs to train troops in combat medicine – thank you. To the teachers in the classrooms and in the trenches – thank you. To the farmers on the front lines and those who continue to harvest their crops to feed not only Ukraine, but the world – thank you. And to the ordinary Ukrainians, risking their lives for their country’s survival, independence and democratic future – thank you. To the Ukrainian people I echo President Biden when I say the United States is behind you for as long as it takes.

For as long as it takes.

As Putin wages his brutal assaults, the United States has helped Ukrainian forces defend their country. As Putin’s forces attacked critical infrastructure, subjecting the Ukrainian people to weather far colder than this, on purpose. As he does that the United States has helped Ukraine keep the lights on, keep the heat running, keep the clean water flowing. As Putin’s forces attempt to destroy Ukraine’s economy, we have helped Ukrainian businesses get the resources they need to reopen their doors, to relocate in some cases. To get as many Ukrainians as possible back to work. And as Putin tries to bully other nations into supporting his brutal aggression, President Biden has rallied democracies around the world to stand up for Ukraine and to stand with Ukraine.

Today, Ukraine is winning and its victories stretch far beyond the battlefields. Putin tried to force Ukraine to submit to his will to cede the right to decide its own future. But Putin so underestimated the will and the dignity of the Ukrainian people. He underestimated the power of their dreams – of your dreams – of a future where Ukraine is stronger, more prosperous, more democratic than before.

Today, Ukrainians are doing more than just dreaming of that future. Even as the bombs rained down, as the missiles rained down. Ukrainians are working right now to build that future. The United States will continue to be a partner, not only in Ukraine’s defense. Not only in the war to defeat Putin and his forces, but in the fight to strengthen Ukraine’s democracy and its economy. We will provide the seeds and supplies to the farmers who are out there sidestepping unexploded landmines to plant next year’s crops, right now. We will help bring international businesses back to Ukraine to help build a resilient economy and put Ukrainians back to work. And we will continue to fund watchdog organizations and independent media that will help root out corruption and keep the government accountable to its people.

So today, as I stand before this enduring symbol of democracy in front of a crowd committed to fighting for the democratic rights of all people, I say once again to Ukraine, you are winning. Winning back not only your territory, but your fundamental right to chart your own destiny. And winning the fight on behalf of democracies everywhere to protect sovereignty, independence, freedom, the rule of law, and dignity. Which is so at the core of the Maidan Revolution and so at the core of the fight today. Every day this war goes on is a day too long and we can never lose sight of the human cost of what Putin has done. But we know that you will prevail and the United States stands with you for as long as it takes. Slava Ukraini.

Thank you.

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