President on Slovak Radio and Television: Russian attack rewrites modern history

President on Slovak Radio and Television: Russian attack rewrites modern history

On Thursday, 24 February, President Čaputová gave extraordinary speech over Slovak Radio and Television in connection with the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.   

"Dear fellow citizens!

This morning we awoke to a reality which we had considered to be part of the past. News regarding the Russian military aggression towards Ukraine flashed around the world.
This is an unimaginable intervention in a world where diplomatic solutions have been primarily pursued while respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states.

Today everyone must clearly understand who is defending themselves and who is attacking. Today it is clear that countries just like Slovakia must look at their defence in the context of this new and very concrete threat. Because Russia’s attack has rewritten modern history. Something which until now had been unthinkable has become a fact.

Imagine that one of our neighbours decided to change the situation in Slovakia by using military power and that it mobilized two hundred thousand soldiers at our borders and eventually attacked us.

The older generations still remember 1968 when Soviet tanks came to Slovakia to protect us from a non-existent counter-revolution. Something like that is happening now in Ukraine, and even worse.   

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called me a few hours ago. His first words were: “Zuzana, they’re bombarding us, many soldiers and civilians have died.” He asks for support in the form of sanctions against Russia, and material and humanitarian aid. And he repeatedly thanked Slovakia and Slovaks.

If someone thinks that this does not concern us, they are mistaken. If Russia takes over Ukraine, we will have a new neighbour on our border, a neighbour which has shown the whole world that it will stop at nothing, not even attacking another country. At this moment we are better protected than before because we are part of a community where an attack against one country would be considered as an attack against all of our allies. And this makes us strong.

This situation has brought along one strong benefit - the unification of most of the world. At the moment, not a single state in the world has expressed its approval of Russia’s attack of Ukraine. Not a single state. Russian leaders are deservedly isolated.  We have come together in condemning Russian aggression and in solidarity with Ukraine. And Slovakia is a part of this. 
At the same time, I would like to express my appreciation for the fact that the vast majority of Slovak political representations have condemned the Russian aggression.  I know that we are living in difficult times and that we have many conflicts, but it is important to stick together as much as possible.

I want to point out the strong Russian propaganda which has been disseminated in Ukraine as well as here in Slovakia and other states.  Our security services have monitored in detail the steps of individual perpetrators of this propaganda. You will encounter various forms of fake information especially on social media. One must be aware of the sources from which information is taken, because the dissemination of lies is no longer an innocent game or mistake. It is a targeted and intensive attempt to destabilize our country. Because the more we are divided on the inside, the weaker we become on the outside.
Dear citizens,

I know that many of you, especially young people, worry that the conflict may spread to Slovakia. I want to reassure you that our territorial integrity and security is not under any immediate threat. Let us remain calm but also vigilant and prepared. Let us be more human towards each other and towards the people of Ukraine who are fleeing from the war. Like us, they are people who wanted to live ordinary lives until the war chased them out.

Every crisis is a test and I believe that we will pass this test with flying colours!"