Speech by Olesia Briazgunova of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine to the demonstration in support of Ukraine in Bern, Switzerland.
Dear brothers and sisters! Greetings from Ukraine!
Thank you for the opportunity to speak today on behalf of the members of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine.
I speak on behalf of the workers who can’t join this rally today because they work under shelling or hiding in basements because of the bombing or occupation of their cities by Russian troops and on behalf of the medical workers who save the lives of civilians and soldiers, members of trade unions who carry humanitarian aid and the evacuation of people from a war zone.
And I speak on behalf of the workers, members of the CVPU, who are now soldiers or defenders in the TRO – these men and women have left their jobs and homes and are now defending the Motherland from the Russian occupiers.
In Ukraine – the 38th day of a full-scale invasion within the framework of the war that the Russian Federation started in 2014.
This is a cynical and cruel war when Russia neglects the rules of war and commits military crimes and crimes against humanity. This war is intended to kill the people of Ukraine who chose freedom, democracy and dignity and completely destroy the country they developed and built.
I think you have seen many photos and videos of the destroyed cities of Ukraine. This horror is real, and this is the life of millions of people today. Russian troops with shelling and bombing destroy hospitals and residential homes, taking into siege of the city, leaving adults and children without water, food, medicine. Now we have received reports of torture, violence against women and robbery from citizens of villages and cities that were freed.
Also Russian troops are attacking enterprises and agricultural objects to destroy the Ukrainian economy and cause poverty and food crisis and even hunger.
This horror is the cause of over 4 million refugees, including 2 million children who fled Ukraine, and over 6 million, became the Air Force. These women, children, people with disabilities and pensioners escaped death, violence and destruction.
They need your help for a while until they return to Ukraine, home. But not all of them will return to their homes because they were destroyed by Russian troops.
Please continue to help them with temporary foster care and all the necessary help in Bernie and Switzerland.
Today, Ukraine needs help to win and restore peace throughout its territory and in Europe.
CVPU members urge you to support strict sanctions against the Russian Federation and not to support the businesses that help and fund this war. We ask you to provide Ukraine with any possible help: humanitarian, financial, military, as well as our refugees.
Your rallies and words of solidarity are also important today. On behalf of KVPU, I want to thank you for coming to support Ukraine today, for your help, solidarity and support!
These days, Ukrainians also organize peaceful rallies in cities occupied by armed Russian soldiers. They bravely stand for freedom. And, for example, in today’s rally in Energodar, Russian troops began firing at peaceful protesters.
At the same time, many activists, journalists, mayors and volunteers have been abducted by occupants or disappeared, and we demand their release! Thousands of peaceful citizens of Ukraine, mostly women and children, were forcibly deported to Russian cities, including from the blocked Mariupol, and we demand them return to Ukraine
Today we must unite to stop the cruel war, atrocities, violent deportation and genocide and make it never happen again in Ukraine and the world.
The people of Ukraine bravely fight for it, for their freedom!
We believe in the victory of Ukraine, because we believe in the Ukrainian Army, in the power of organization and volunteering of Ukrainians and in solidarity!
Stand with Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine!