Strasbourg, 13September 2022
The ECR Group has nominated President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the face of Ukraine’s resistance to brutal Russian aggression for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2022.
President Zelenskyy’s nomination is to honour all brave Ukrainians who have stood up to Russian aggression and are defending our common European values against dictatorship and oppression.
The brutality of Putin’s regime started in 2013 when young Ukrainians protested for European values and democracy. During the cold winter, they rallied against the kleptocratic Putin-Yanukovych alliance, which aimed to return to a Soviet-style dictatorship to the country.
Putin’s refusal to tolerate peaceful youth protests in Ukraine resulted in Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. The invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 is a brutal onslaught that has since cost many lives and plunged thousands of Ukrainians into suffering.
President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine’s victory will be a living testimony that the struggle for values triumphs over brutal violence and oppression.
President Zelenskyy is the face of the Ukrainian people who fight with courage, perseverance and dedication in defense of our European values. Awarding the Sakharov Prize to the Ukrainian President would be an additional sign of recognition of the heroism that has been demonstrated by Ukrainians every day since the war broke out. Without the Ukrainian people, who knows, the Russian tanks could be today on the territory of the European Union.