UWC commemorates 32nd anniversary of Ukrainian independence referendum

#UWC news
December 1,2023 749
UWC commemorates 32nd anniversary of Ukrainian independence referendum

Today, on December 1, 2023, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) joins Ukraine and Ukrainians worldwide in celebrating the 32nd anniversary of the national referendum on independence of Ukraine, which took place on December 1, 1991.  

32 years ago, on this day, the all-national Ukrainian referendum became a powerful, clear, unambiguous, and indisputable manifestation of the will of the people of Ukraine to establish a free and independent sovereign Ukrainian state.  

During the referendum, an overwhelming majority of more than 90% of Ukrainians voted in favor of Ukraine’s independence. The vote successfully took place and gained support in all 27 administrative regions of Ukraine, including Donetsk, Luhansk, Crimea, and the city of Sevastopol.  

This result confirmed the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on August 24, 1991, and was decisive for the international community’s recognition of Ukraine. The organized Ukrainian diaspora played a special role in the emergence of an independent Ukraine. From December 2, 1991, and onwards, through its efforts, Ukraine was globally recognized as an independent state; Poland and Canada were the first two countries to grant recognition to newly independent Ukraine.

Despite Moscow’s official recognition of a free Ukraine, the Russian political elites never accepted the Ukrainian people’s choice. Till the very last moment in 1991, the Russian leaders did not take Ukraine’s ambitions for independence seriously and believed those had been just political speculations. As a result, the referendum outcomes shocked Moscow, which dreamed of drawing Kyiv into a kind of “renewed union.” 

Today, Russian dictator Putin’s official ideological doctrine claims that “Ukraine is a historically illegitimate artificial state” and that “Ukrainians are actually Russians.” Since the start of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked full-scale invasion, Moscow’s rhetoric toward Ukraine has become even more openly genocidal. Putin has declared entire Ukrainian regions to be “historically Russian lands” and set a goal of a complete elimination of Ukrainian identity in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories.  

“Those who are currently calling for a ceasefire in Ukraine must take the genocidal nature of Russia’s invasion into account. Putin has made it perfectly clear that he intends to wipe Ukraine off the map of Europe. He views Ukraine’s very existence as an intolerable threat to Russia itself and is prepared to pay almost any price to remove this threat by extinguishing Ukrainian statehood. His hardline stance is entirely in line with centuries of Russian imperial policy,” stated UWC President Paul Grod. 

As the brave Ukrainian defenders continue their fight for the very existence of the Ukrainian nation, we once again call on the international community to continue standing strong with Ukraine. 

The people of Ukraine will not give up until the last Russian occupier leaves the land within the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine.  

Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Heroes!