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Happy Independence Day, Ukraine!

Keep fighting – you are sure to win! God helps you in your fight! For fame and freedom march with you, and right is on your side!

Happy Independence Day, strong, determined, indomitable Ukraine! Happy Independence Day, brave, free, indomitable Ukrainian people!

The Russian Empire, its Kremlin masters and their soldiers dreamed of taking this day away from you, taking away your independence, your freedom and your land. They were sure that it was a matter of "three days". But they didn't know anything about you.

They knew nothing about people ready to fight for every meter of their land, ready to destroy hordes of invaders by any possible and impossible means. Ready to look this evil empire straight in the eyes, look into the eyes of the death it carries - and strike fear into those eyes.

The invaders from the east called themselves "the second army of the world" - and the world believed it for a long time. Until the world saw the real army - the army of Ukraine. Until it saw courageous and indomitable Ukrainian men and women, for whom the ratings of military power and forecasts of foreign intelligence did not mean anything when it was time to defend their home and their land. You have shown the whole world what it means to be true patriots and warriors.

Glory to the heroes! To each and every one!

Now both enemies and allies of Ukraine saw how wrong they all were. Because they didn't know anything about you. But they know now. That's right - now even the enemies know what you knew from the very beginning - Ukraine will be victorious.

And this victory will change the world. Because fighting for its independence today, Ukraine is fighting and setting an example to all peoples and countries that have suffered from Russian imperialism. Ukraine's victory is a chance to end it. A chance to end this empire.

And we, Belarusians, also understand this. In the conditions of mass repressions, deportations, hybrid occupation of our country, we support Ukraine. Along with the whole civilized world.

In February 2022, Belarusians took part in anti-war protests - not only abroad, but also in Belarus itself. Knowing the risks. After all, the pro-Russian regime of the usurper Lukashenko has been participating in the war against Ukraine on the side of Russia from the very beginning - against the will of the Belarusian people.

But even thousands of new arrests and sentences for anti-war protests did not stop the Belarusian rail partisans, who risked their freedom, health and lives to stop the movement of Russian military echelons. They did not stop the underground movement, which transmitted and continues to transmit information about the movements of Russian troops in Belarus. They did not stop the diversionists who disabled the Russian guidance plane. Thousands of Belarusian volunteers were not stopped.

They did not stop our heroes, who have relatives and friends left in Belarus, but who from the first days stood shoulder to shoulder with their fellow Ukrainians and beat the occupiers together, defending Ukraine in the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. All of them are the pride of the Belarusian nation. And their ranks continue to grow.

The democratic forces of Belarus are fighting the aggressor on the international stage as well. We continue to strive for new sanctions against both aggressors - the Lukashenko regime and Russia, advocating for the harmonization of sanctions against both of them in order to deprive them of resources and opportunities to circumvent sanctions through Belarus. We are campaigning to bring the Lukashenko regime to criminal responsibility for complicity in war crimes, one of which is the deportation of Ukrainian children.

We are fighting together on the information field, resisting Russian and pro-Russian propaganda, despite all the efforts of which the majority of Belarusians do not change their anti-war position.

And we, Belarusians, will continue to support Ukraine, we will continue to fight for victory. For your freedom and ours.

Happy Independence Day, Ukraine! I believe, I am sure that Ukraine will meet its 33rd anniversary of independence completely liberated, within its legal boundaries.

I also believe that the next congratulations will come to Ukraine on behalf of free Belarus. Free from the Russian Empire and its puppet regime.

Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes! And Long Live Belarus!

Pavel Latushka

Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador

August 24, 2023



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