Holding blue and yellow Ukrainian flags and chanting slogans for peace, crowds gathered over the weekend in cities across the world to stand with Ukraine as the assault by Russian forces continues. On Sunday, February 27, 2022, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) President and Chief Executive Officer Damon Wilson addressed the demonstrators next to the White House in Washington, D.C., calling for solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they reinforce their right to a democratic future.
“Ukraine is the epicenter of the fight for freedom in this world,” said Wilson. “Ukrainians’ courage [and] their determination has been an inspiration to rally all of us around their cause. Their cause is our cause, and Ukrainians will have inspired those that believe in freedom for generations to come.”
Watch the video above and read the full transcript below of NED President and Chief Executive Officer Damon Wilson’s speech at the National Rally to Support Ukraine:
“I’m with the National Endowment for Democracy, which is America’s foundation for freedom. And today the fight for freedom is in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine is an assault on freedom and democracy, and it’s a challenge to free nations around the world. This invasion comes on the heels of unchecked aggression from Vladimir Putin—in 2007, a cyber-attack on Estonia; in 2008, an invasion of Georgia; in 2014, in Crimea and Donbas—we have seen Russia fueling an authoritarian resurgence around the world, from Africa to Latin America.
And we have seen a full-scale assault on the Russian people this past year alone. More Russians were driven into exile as he cracked down at home, and today, Ukraine is the epicenter of the fight for freedom in this world.
Ukrainians’ courage, their determination, has been an inspiration to rally all of us around their cause.
Their cause is our cause and Ukrainians, they will have inspired those that believe in freedom for generations to come, securing Ukraine’s place in history. But we are not focused on history today, we are focused on what is happening today. And the fight of Ukrainians, their success, is crucial to democracy’s future. It is crucial to defeating Putinism.
So it is time that we rally, that the free world rallies on behalf of Ukraine and their heroic struggle, to put together the largest solidarity package that the world has seen since the Marshall plan to back their struggle and that we rally to stop Putin’s aggression with the resolve, the generational movement that will be required to defeat his tyranny— because only when Putin is out of Ukraine, only when Putin is out of the Kremlin, will our freedom be safe and secure. Slava Ukraini!”
~ Damon Wilson, NED President and CEO. Remarks were delivered to the National Rally to Support Ukraine in Washington, D.C., on February 27, 2022.