The statement below was released by the Ukrainian World Congress on January 22.
In 2018 Ukrainians throughout the world are commemorating 100 years of Ukrainian statehood. January 22, 1918, the first Ukrainian Parliament, Ukrainska Tsentralna Rada, proclaimed with its Fourth Universal an independent Ukrainian People’s Republic. Exactly one year later, on January 22, 1919, the Unification Act joined the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic into one consolidated independent state.
The events of January 22, 1918 and 1919, were not isolated moments in history but the culmination of a centuries-old struggle of the Ukrainian people for self-determination and freedom. Although independence was short-lived, the struggle and foreign occupation and repressions continued until August 24, 1991, when Ukraine renewed its independence. Sadly, the Ukrainian people are still forced to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine from a foreign aggressor that refuses to recognize Ukraine’s statehood.
Over the course of 100 years, Ukraine’s fight has been waged by countless individuals who fought with either arms or pens in the conviction that Ukraine deserves to assume its rightful place among the independent nations of the world.
On this momentous anniversary in the history of the Ukrainian nation, we pay tribute to the millions who made the ultimate sacrifice for Ukraine’s freedom. Let us always remember the difficult path that has been traveled by our people and on which we still remain. May we remain focused on the fundamental right of every Ukrainian to live freely in a territorially whole Ukrainian state where the rule of law prevails and fundamental human rights are respected.
The Ukrainian World Congress and the entire Ukrainian diaspora join the people of Ukraine in marking this anniversary of Ukrainian statehood and reaffirm their continued commitment to further strengthen and protect the independence of the Ukrainian state.
“As we mark 100 years of Ukrainian statehood, may the lessons of history renew our strength, resolve and faith in the ultimate victory, including the de-occupation of Crimea and the Donbas,” stated Ukrainian World Congress President Eugene Czolij.