Viktor Yushchenko: The future of Ukraine depends on every one of us

From a speech given in Independence Square, Kiev, by the winner of the Ukrainian presidential election
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Dear friends! Our Ukraine has suffered in servitude for 14 years. We were independent, but we were not free. For 14 years, we have suffered the tyranny of Kuchma, Medvedchuk, and Yanukovych. It's all in the past now. Our future is a new, independent, and free Ukraine.

A month ago, my opponent said that the government has come and nothing can change it. We have found the way to change it: with the election. We have won elegantly and graciously.

You know, I cannot order Maidan [the movement of Ukrainians fighting for democracy] to disperse. Where would you go? How? We must protect our victory. We should bring truth to Ukrainian authorities and recognise that the future of Ukraine does not depend on Moscow, America, or Europe. The future depends on every single one of us. Thus, I address you, the people: we should work to ensure Ukraine's prosperity.

I believe that businesses will offer a helping hand to the government, and the government will extend its hand to businesses. Our goal is to form a highly professional government. The national business elite should dedicate its service to the Ukrainian nation. I believe that such politics will be successful.

On behalf of myself and my colleagues, let me congratulate every Ukrainian family with the New Year of prosperity. When the clock counts the last seconds of this very difficult yet victorious year, may the dreams of every Ukrainian come true!

I am happy that in the past four weeks the rest of the world has understood Ukraine. I wish that on everyone's shoulder there be an angel that never sleeps, that he protect you not only in the coming year but for many years.