The settlement and institutions agreed after World War II have failed, and the core values of the democratic world are at stake in the fight for Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov told the 2022 CEPA Forum as he renewed his appeal for more weapons. 

“This is not just our fight, this is a battle for the foundational values of the free world, this is the battle for who gets to dictate the new world order; is it the tyrant, or is it democracy?” he said. “If we fall, every power that aspires to reach its goals through acts of aggression will celebrate Russia’s victory. They are making no secret of that.” 

Reznikov, a paratrooper during the Soviet era who was appointed defense minister in November, turned his fire on the United Nations (UN) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), saying they failed to ensure peace and freedom. 

“Every institution established after World War II to prevent future wars, the UN, the OSCE and others, have failed,” he said. “Europe, America and everybody who wants to live in a world based on the rule of law, a world that respects human rights and freedoms and has no room for terror, genocide or subjugation of entire nations, has to support Ukraine now.” 

The experience of subjugation during the Soviet-era, and attempts by Russia to bring Ukraine back under its “yoke” since independence 32 years ago, have added to his people’s determination to overcome the Kremlin’s dominance, Reznikov said. 

“Ukrainians will never surrender again. We have learned our lesson,” he told delegates. “We will never allow another round of repression against the best minds of our nation.” 

Giving weapons to Ukraine now will help to deliver security for the West in the future, Reznikov said. 

“These weapons will help to strengthen Europe’s, and NATO’s, eastern border,” he said. “The only road to peace is our victory.” 

CEPA Forum 2022
Meeting the Moment: Allies at a Crossroads
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