President Zurabishvili Addresses Bucha Summit

In her video address to the participants of the Bucha Summit on March 31, marking the one-year anniversary of the de-occupation of the Ukrainian town from Russian troops, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said that “Ukraine’s formidable resilience and courage in front of aggression and atrocities” would never be forgotten.

President Zurabishvili told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that she wanted to physically attend the summit, but “I had to address the Georgian Parliament on this very day, where we observed a minute’s of silence for the victims of this shameful page of the history of Europe and of the civilized world.”

She said that it has been one year since “the world was aghast by the images and videos taken in Bucha depicting the horrific cruelties committed by the Russian aggressors against Ukrainian civilians.” “It was a chilling realization, a reminder to each and every one of us of the brutalities and crimes against humanity that can be committed by unchecked military power, with no sense of impunity, no sense of international order, and no sense of the sanctity of human life.”

President Zurabishvili said that the images ahd “horrified and devastated” everyone in Georgia, but “we were also reminded of the direct experience of Russian aggressions against Georgia, its territory, its independence, and its statehood.” “To this very day, Russia continues to occupy Georgia’s 20% of territories. This is precisely why every Georgian understands the devastation, pain, and suffering experienced by fellow Ukrainians – the reason why our people express their unwavering solidarity with Ukraine.”

She stressed that had the response of the international community been more resolute, their understanding of the true nature of the Russian regime, the repetition of aggression, and the direct violation of international principles through direct annexation might have been avoided in Crimea.  “Then maybe February 24, 2022, could have been yet another ordinary day in the lives of peaceful Ukrainian citizens. Maybe Bucha would not have happened.”

“However, the reality is different – the impunity enjoyed by Russia has allowed it to establish the use of military means as a common tactic against its neighbors,” the Georgian President said, adding that today, doubts and hesitations have vanished and the international community understands that “democracy and freedom for all are at stake and that the choice is one of civilization: between the rule of a dictatorial and threatening Russia and our common endeavor to build a free, peaceful, democratic and prosperous future.”

President Zurabishvili stressed that only a world in which Russia renounces its imperialist aspirations and accepts to transform itself into a state that like others, has and recognizes its own borders and those of its neighbors, can be a world of peace. She also added that “our unity, today and every day, against aggression, brutality, injustice, and flagrant disregard for human life and international principles is stronger than ever.”

At the end of her speech, President Zurabishvili once again expressed solidarity with Ukraine, on behalf of the Georgian people and wished President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people “courage and unbreakable determination in the fight for your country’s future and the future of Europe.”

“I am certain peace will soon prevail through the victory of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people and that Bucha’s victims will not have died in vain,” the Georgian President said. “Слава Україні!”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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