"We guarantee our country's spiritual independence!" Address of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the people, talking about the need to ensure the spiritual independence of Ukrainians and about the connections of certain religious circles in Ukraine with the aggressor state.

"Free people of an indomitable country!

Every year on December 1, we remember an event that defined history. An event that said a lot about all of us, about Ukrainians. About who we are. And about what we will never be.

On December 1, 31 years ago, a referendum was held that united the entire territory of our state. None of our people remained outside the borders of the All-Ukrainian decision. Kyiv and Sevastopol, Odesa and Crimea, Lviv and Cherkasy, Chernihiv and Kharkiv, Donetsk and Kherson, Zaporozhye and Luhansk, Khmelnytskyi and Kirovohrad Oblast, Volyn and Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Sumy and Transcarpathia, Frankivsk and Ternopil, Zhytomyr Oblast and Chernivtsi, Vinnytsia, Kyiv Oblast, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Rivne... Everyone supported.

People confirmed the Act of Proclamation of Independence of Ukraine — freely and legally. It was a real referendum, not some kind of imitation. It was an honest referendum, and that is why it was recognized by the world.

And it was important that not just politicians, but people in particular put an end to the history of the empire, which was built on denying the will of the people. Who killed, trying to perpetuate the denial of the will of the people, but whom the people overthrew anyway. And precisely of his own will.

Since that day in 1991, Ukrainians have experienced many attempts to turn a dot into three dots or a semicolon. We saw many figures who could not calm down that the empire had been overthrown.

We are still defending Ukraine against such "comrades" who wanted to celebrate the centenary of the empire this year instead of another anniversary of freedom. They wanted...

But it will be according to Ukrainian rules.

Our desire to live freely, which was expressed on August 24 and confirmed on December 1, will not be broken. Ukrainians will never again be pebbles of some empires. We have already won it and will ensure the full independence of our state.

We will ensure, in particular, spiritual independence. We will never allow anyone to build an empire inside the Ukrainian soul.

A meeting of the National Security Council was held today. The meeting at which we considered numerous facts of the connections of certain religious circles in Ukraine with the aggressor state.

Unfortunately, even Russian terror and full-scale war did not convince some actors that it is worth overcoming the temptation of evil. Well, we have to create conditions where any actors dependent on the aggressor state will have no opportunity to manipulate Ukrainians and weaken Ukraine from within.

So, the first. The National Security Council instructed the government to submit to the Verkhovna Rada a draft law on making it impossible for religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation to operate in Ukraine.

Second. The State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience — to ensure the conducting of a religious examination of the Statute on the management of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for the presence of a church-canonical connection with the Moscow Patriarchate and, if necessary, to take measures provided for by law.

The third. Ensure verification of legal grounds and compliance with the terms of use by religious organizations of property located on the territory of the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Reserve.

The fourth. All bodies responsible for the issue of ensuring national security should intensify measures to detect and counter the subversive activities of Russian special services in the religious environment of Ukraine. And apply personal sanctions — the names will be made public soon.

And fifth. We need to raise the status and strengthen the capabilities of the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience. This structure will be reformed, which will enable it to really protect the rights and legitimate interests of Ukrainians and the state.

With these and other decisions, we guarantee Ukraine's spiritual independence.

I would like to emphasize: in 1991, our state started on the legal and democratic path. We will continue on this path. Only legal steps. Balanced decisions. And national interests.

Today, we continued to work on the implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula, which I presented at the G19 summit, in particular its clause on food security. To this end, he spoke with the president of Senegal and the head of the African Union.

About our Grain From Ukraine initiative. This is an initiative that really brings stability and predictability back to the world. And also about how we can involve African countries in restoring the strength of international law and guaranteeing the completeness of global security.

And one more. Today, another 50 Ukrainians were brought home from Russian captivity. Four officers, 46 sergeants and privates. Army, Teroborona, National Guardsmen, Navy and border guards. I thank our entire team, which works for the liberation of Ukrainians. Budanov, Yermak, Usov, Malyuk, Lubinets. Just well done. Thanks to everyone who helps!

In total, since February 24, more than 1300 Ukrainians have already been returned from Russian captivity. Let's bring back all the others! All of Ukraine will be free. All Ukrainians will be at home.

Glory to all who fight for our country!

Glory to all who work to protect Ukraine!

Eternal memory to all those who gave their lives for independence!

Glory to Ukraine!"

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