The Ambassador of Ukraine to Australia and New Zealand has issued a bold and uncompromising promise to “win” the war against Russia, as the condemned invasion of Ukraine enters its second year.
Vasyl Myroshnychenko addressed the National Press Club on Friday and detailed Ukraine’s “six key features” on its “road to victory”.
“It’s hard to lay aside the emotions one feels about this horrible anniversary, but such is my task, to contain the hurt and the horror one holds in his heart for one’s country and share some thoughts that aim to ensure you a singular key aspect – that Ukraine must win, and that Ukraine will win,” he said.
The Ambassador of Ukraine to Australia and New Zealand, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, promised that his country would prevail over Russia’s invasion. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage
Mr Myroshnychenko was visibly emotional while vowing Ukraine would “fight for as long as it takes”, stand up to the other countries like “Iran, North Korea and Belarus” and not allow the occupation of Ukrainian territories. He said the Eastern European country will continue to avoid nuclear warfare while partnering with allies and called on Australia to provide more and ongoing military aid.
“Most importantly, military aid needs to be ongoing, namely, to secure Ukraine’s victory,” said Mr Myroshnychenko.
“If the goal in 2022 was to defend Ukraine, the goal in 2023 is for Ukraine to win for the world’s sake.”
Finally, the Ambassador called on the international community to ensure war criminals will be punished through a “special tribunal” to prosecute Russia’s “unprovoked, illegal, and immoral war”.
“The Kremlin’s plans to destroy Ukrainian statehood have failed. Ukraine, Ukrainians will never give up on freedom, humanity, respect for individuals, following state obligations, following international law.”
The latest figures from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OFURC) state at least 8000 non-combatants have been killed, with nearly 13,000 injured.
Although Mr Myroshnychenko was unable say how long the war will continue, he said he was “optimistic” for a victory, and welcomed future economic, trade and investment with Australia.
Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine enters its second year on February 24. Picture: Genya Savilov / AFP
Mr Myroshnychenko also confronted the issue of fatigue of the war on Ukraine among ally countries. Although he said he received the question frequently, he said Ukraine could not “afford” for the world to stop caring.
“You get somebody who breaks into your house, rapes your wife, takes your best room and says I will not kill you, but I will leave here, rape your wife and live here and that is the compromise,” he said.
“We cannot afford it, that is the situation now.”
PM renews calls for Putin to stand down
On Friday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese renewed his called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop Russian forces.
“Today, one year since this illegal invasion, we again say to Vladimir Putin – stop this war now. Withdraw your forces now,” he said.
“There is no need to continue this war … Vladimir Putin can stop this, and he can stop this today. He should stop this today.”
Mr Albanese also announced $33m aid in drone delivery to Ukraine. This is in addition to the $500m-plus military aid, including 90 Bushmaster vehicles, ammunition, artillery and Australian soldiers who have been deployed to the UK to train Ukrainian civilians to fight.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong also called on China to de-escalate the war, which Beijing did on Friday.
“This war, waged by Mr Putin, is an attack on sovereignty and an attack on the UN Charter. We would urge China to do all it can to end the conflict,” Senator Wong said.
Later, China’s Foreign Ministry issued a 12-point plan calling for a “cease fire”.
“All parties should support Russia and Ukraine in working in the same direction and resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible, so as to gradually de-escalate the situation and ultimately reach a comprehensive ceasefire,” the ministry said.
“Dialogue, negotiation are the only viable ways to resolve the Ukraine crisis.”