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Ukrainian is not in passport, but in heart. Inaugural speech of Zelensky

The inauguration of Ukraine's president was held on May 20
16:31, 20 May 2019

Inauguration of Zelensky
president.gov.ua

Zelensky delivered his first speech as the president in the Verkhovna Rada after making an oath.

Volodymyr Zelensky has sworn allegiance to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people and officially became the president of Ukraine.

Zelensky delivered his first speech as the president in the Verkhovna Rada after making an oath.

The inauguration speech of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. The full script.

Dear Ukrainians!

After the election victory, my six-year-old son said to me “Dad, I saw on the TV that Zelensky became the president, so does it mean that I am a president too?” At that moment, I thought it was just a childish joke, but then I realized that this was the truth. Because each of us is president. Not only 73% of my voters but all 100%.

It is not my victory, but it is our common victory. And this is our common chance, for which we bear the common responsibility. And just now not only I have sworn, but each of us has also put their hand onto the Constitution and sworn allegiance to Ukraine. Imagine the loud headlines like “President does not pay the taxes”, “Drunk President drives on the red light”. Do you agree that this is a shame? That is what I mean when saying that everybody of us is a president. Since today, we all are responsible for Ukraine, which we build for our children. Each of us from their place can contribute somehow to Ukraine. European Ukraine begins from each of us.

Yes, we have chosen a way to Europe, but Europe is not somewhere else. Europe is in our heads. And when Europe is in here (points to the head), it will be here (points to the hall), it will be in Ukraine. This is our common goal.

However, we also have a common pain. Each of us has died in Donbas. Every day we are losing each of us. And each of us is a displaced person: those who lost their own home, and those who opened the doors of their houses, sharing this pain. And each of us is a migrant worker. Those who did not find themselves at home, but found a way to earn in a foreign country, those who are forced to lower their self-esteem in fight with poverty. But we will overcome all of this. Because each of us is Ukrainian. We are all Ukrainians. There are no bigger or smaller, right or wrong. All of us are Ukrainians: from Uzhhorod to Luhansk, from Chernihiv to Simferopol, in Lviv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipro and Odesa - we are all Ukrainians. And we have to be united because only then are we strong.

And today, I address all the Ukrainians in the world. There are 65 million of us! Yes, do not be surprised - we are 65 million. Those, who were born on Ukrainian land. Ukrainians in Europe and Asia, in North and South America, Australia and Africa. I appeal to all Ukrainians on the planet, we really need you! Everyone who is ready to build a new strong and successful Ukraine - I will gladly grant Ukrainian citizenship to you. You should come to Ukraine not as guests, but to come home. We are waiting for you! No need to bring souvenirs from abroad. Bring us, please, your knowledge, your experience, and your mental values. Al this will help us to start a new era. Skeptics would say it is a fantasy and it is impossible. But maybe this is our national idea – united, we could make the impossible come true no matter what!

Remember how Icelandic football team at the European Championship, when a dentist, director, pilot, student, and a cleaner fought and defended the honor of their country. And they did it, although nobody believed they would. And this is our path. We must become Icelanders in football, the Israelis in defense of our native land, the Japanese in technology, the Swiss in the ability to happily live with each other, despite any differences.

And our first task is to stop the fire in Donbas. I was often asked what I was ready to do for the ceasefire. It is a strange question. And what you, Ukrainians are ready to do for the sake of lives of your close people? I can assure you that I am ready for everything in order to stop our heroes from dying. I'm definitely not afraid to make complicated decisions. I am ready to lose my popularity, my ratings, and if necessary, I am ready to lose my position without hesitation, so that peace would come. Without having to lose our territory ever again.

The history is unfair, it's true. We did not start this war but must end this war. And we are ready for dialogue.

Related: Zelenksy promises international partners that world to be proud of Ukraine

(Zelensky switches to the Russian language, - 112.international). But I am sure that the return of all Ukrainian prisoners is the first step for the beginning of this dialogue.

(Zelensky switches to the Ukrainian language, - 112.international). Our next challenge is the return of the lost territories. To be honest, I think that this formulation is not really correct because it is impossible to lose things, which are ours by right. Crimea and Donbas is Ukrainian land. We lost not just territories but the most important – people.

(Zelensky switches to the Russian language, - 112.international). And today we just have to, I am sure, they hear us, to return their conscience. We lost this conscience. During these years, the authority did nothing to make them feel as the Ukrainians. They are not strangers, they are ours. They are Ukrainians.

(Oleg Lyashko interrupts Zelensky, - 112.international). Excuse me? Yes, they understand the Ukrainian language. Thank you very much, that you continue to split people, Mr. Lyashko. Yes, we are all Ukrainians wherever we are living. Because Ukrainian is not in the passport, Ukrainian is in the heart. And I know it for sure. I know from the fighters, who defend Ukraine, our heroes. I respect people, who give their lives for the state every day. I will do everything to make you feel respect. It is decent and the most important, stable financial security, it is your living conditions, statutory maternity after the fulfillment of the tasks, vacations for you and your families. We should not speak about NATO standards but create them, create these standards.

Certainly, despite the war, there are a lot of other miseries, which make Ukrainians unhappy. It is shocking tariffs, humiliating wages and pensions, painful prices, non-existent working places. It is medicine, which improvements are discussed by people, who did not stay in the usual hospital with a child. It is mythical Ukrainian roads, which are constructed and repaired in someone’s vivid imagination.

Let me cite one American actor, who became a cool American president: “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem”. It is just a quote. I do not understand, to be honest, our government just throw their hands up and say: “We can do nothing”. It is not true. You can. You can take a piece of paper, take a pen and free your positions for people, who will think about the next generations, not about the next elections. I think people will appreciate it. And my election proves that the citizens are tired from the experienced systemic political pundits, who created the country of possibilities in 28 years: the possibilities of kickbacks, flows and carving-up. We will build the country of other possibilities, where everyone is equal before the law, where honest and transparent rules of the game exist; the same rules for everyone. People, who will serve the nation should come to power to make it true.

Related: Zelensky offers leaders of Parliament factions to discuss Rada dissolution

I do not want you to hang my portraits in your offices. Please, because a president is not an icon, not an idol. President – is not a portrait. Hang there the photos of your children and look into their eyes before making any decision.

I can say a lot of other things, but Ukrainians do not want words, they want actions. Therefore, dear MPs, you yourself have appointed the inauguration on Monday, on a working day. I see an advantage in this. This means that today there will be no party, today we will be working. I ask you to adopt the law on cancellation of parliamentary immunity, the law on criminal liability for illicit enrichment, long-suffering Election Code. And, please, make the open lists. I also ask you to dismiss SBU Head, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Ukraine’s Defence Minister. You will have two months for that. Do this and take the medals. Good points before the snap elections. I dissolve the Verkhovna Rada of the 8th convocation. Glory to Ukraine!

And finally. Very briefly. Dear people, all my life I was trying to do everything to make Ukrainians smile. I felt it in my heart. Within the next five years, I will do everything so that the Ukrainians don’t cry.

Thank you!

Related: President Zelensky to have consultations with Parliament's factions on May 20

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