Ten years ago, here, in the centre of Kyiv, on Independence Square, ordinary people, young and old, from different parts of Ukraine, different professions and vocations, performed an extraordinary feat.

Ten years ago, they fought against the pro-russian puppet regime of yanukovych and gave their lives for our freedom and Ukraine's European choice.

Ten years ago, the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred became the first Heroes of the russian-Ukrainian war that continues to this day.

The youngest of them, Ustym Holodniuk, was only 17 years old. A child born in an independent Ukraine, he held the sky for us and died like a warrior, bravely defending his country in this war.

Ten years ago. I still have scary dreams about those terrible days.

Wounded, severely beaten, two men were very seriously injured – their heads were broken, one had a broken spine, and the rest, who were less beaten, had their hands tied. Everyone was lying down. There were up to 40 people in total, 23 of them were seriously injured. We took them away in ambulances from the central anti-Maidan tent in Mariinskyi Park. In fact, under the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Many of these guys did not survive...

I am grateful to all those who were there in those days and helped save lives – the Maidan volunteers, the doctors at Kyiv's Hospital No. 17.

I also want us to never forget who were the first volunteers to go straight from the Maidan to defend Ukraine against russian aggression. These were hundreds of Maidan self-defence units.

Among the first defenders were also the guys we managed to rescue in Mariinka. They are still fighting. Unfortunately, many of them have already become Heroes who have passed away.

Like Ihor Utiuzh. During the events of the Revolution of Dignity, he was only 17 years old. Ihor survived near Mariinka and received a terrible head injury. And at the age of 23, he heroically died at the front, in the Zaporizhzhia sector, defending Ukraine.

And so the fight continues.

The cause of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes is carried on by their adult children.

Among them is Volodymyr Bondarchuk, the son of Heavenly Hundred Hero Serhii Bondarchuk, who is currently serving in the defence sector.

Andrii Kulchytskyi, son of the Heavenly Hundred Hero Volodymyr Kulchytskyi, was injured in March 2023 near Bakhmut. Volodymyr, the son of Heavenly Hundred Hero Volodymyr Chaplinskyi, also recently joined the Armed Forces.

The Revolution of Dignity and the Heavenly Hundred Heroes won us the chance and opportunity to be ourselves, to be Ukrainians – free and dignified.

I want us to never forget that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, no matter how it is treated because of the behaviour of some MPs, was, is and will be the institution that, in the most difficult times for the country, found compromise, understanding and demonstrated the unity the country needs, making the most important decisions to protect our statehood.

But there is another issue that we cannot forget. It is justice. Fair and inevitable punishment for all those involved in the crimes against Maidan participants.

According to the Prosecutor General's Office, in just ten years of investigating the Maidan cases, indictments against 468 people have been submitted to court.

Over these ten years, only 90 people have been convicted.

The threat of the expiry of the statute of limitations in many Maidan cases, which should be handed down in time for fair sentences, is a cause for great concern.

I urge our courts to consider these cases as a matter of priority and bring them to a conclusion. If it is necessary to amend the criminal procedure legislation to ensure that suspects cannot escape punishment, we must do so, colleagues, as the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

 

 

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