“Dear Ukrainians, dear Europeans,
Ukraine’s Independence Day really ought to be a day of happiness and festivities.
Yet today, many of you are not celebrating as you normally would, at home, in your own country, with your families and friends.
This year, Ukrainian fathers are separated from their children; mothers have had to flee their homes; brothers and sisters are far apart.
Friends are concerned about one another’s safety and all of you, like us, are grieving for many thousands of lives lost, instead of celebrating together.
Russia, with its brutal war of aggression, is attempting to destroy everything that 24 August stands for: security, peace and freedom for your country. For the right of Ukraine, like any other country in the world, to determine its own future.
You are fighting for all this with extraordinary courage. For our shared values and our European peaceful order.
We in Germany stand firmly by your side in this struggle.
Today, on Ukraine’s Independence Day, and in the days ahead.”