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Ukraine to ‘defeat everyone’, vows Zelenskyy as conflict enters 2nd year

Ukrainian President Volodymyr
Zelenskyy has marked the first anniversary of Russia’s attack with a sombre message of defiance to his
people, saying “we will defeat everyone”.

In a video released to the media on Friday, titled “the year of invincibility”, the 45-year-old sat at a desk and recalled how he addressed Ukrainians a year ago in a hurried statement, as Kiev and the world reeled from Russia’s attacks on the country.

“A year ago on this day, from this same place around seven
in the morning, I addressed you with a brief statement, lasting
only 67 seconds,” he said in a 15-minute speech, as solemn music
played in the background.

“…we are strong. We are ready for anything. We will defeat
everyone. This is how it began on February 24, 2022. The longest
day of our lives. The most difficult day in our recent history.
We woke up early and haven’t slept since.”

Western military officials estimate casualties on both sides
of the largest conflict in Europe since World War II at more
than 100,000 killed or wounded. Tens of thousands of civilians
also died, while millions more have fled the threat of fighting.

Zelenskyy said last year’s Russian assault had been a moment when “millions of us made a choice.” Ukrainians chose not the white flag of surrender “but the blue and yellow one. Not fleeing, but facing. Resisting & fighting,” his tweet said.

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‘One big army’

Ukrainian forces prevented a swift victory early in 2022,
and the conflict, which Moscow calls a “special military
operation”, has become one of grinding trench warfare in the
east and south.

With leaders of both countries showing no signs of backing
down, the prospects of an end to the fighting any time soon look

Zelenskyy, who has been instrumental in garnering financial
and military aid from around the world to sustain Ukrainian
defences in the face of a much larger army, praised his people.

“We became one big army,” he said. “We have become a team
where someone finds, someone packs, someone brings, but everyone

He described 2022 as a year of resilience, courage, pain,
and unity.

“Its main conclusion is that we have survived. We had not
been defeated. And we will do everything to win this year!”

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