As Delivered by singer and activist Ruslana Lyzhychko, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at the 2014 Distinguished Leadership Awards.

Thank you so much. I know that everybody have this flashlights. (LAUGHTER) You can take it on– on the chair, yes. Please take it and hold it. I will ask you switch on for the end of my speech. I am apologize, but my speech is very– I need to talk very directly and very sincere. It’s very, very important speech for me and for Ukraine.

 2014 Honorees

Distinguished International Leadership
Chuck Hagel
Jose Manuel Barroso

Distinguished Business Leadership
Thomas Enders

Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership
Ruslana Lyzhychko

Distinguished Military Leadership
Joseph Dunford

Thank you Prime Minister and thank you to the Atlantic Council. I said it’s not for myself, but for all the people of Ukraine, those who are still free. You do not honor me, you honor Maidan. As we gather here tonight, the sun is about to rise on a new day in Ukraine.

People of the world I scream for help. I’m shocked. Peace has never been so weak (?) before. This is the tragedy of the 21st century. This is the biggest crisis since World War II. For the first time since 1945 one country takes away territory from other country. Ukraine. This is a challenge to the world, to all countries, to all leader political leaders, to all people. It’s Putin’s challenge to all of us. His propaganda, his machine against the true. Putin is preparing his way to Kiev. He started his terrorist operation in east of Ukraine. Russia’s special forces, terrorist, get into Ukraine more and the more. Some of them are those who were in Chechnya in Georgia. Tomorrow we will wake up and see that Putin took away everything he wanted.

Putin uses just one rule that there are no rules for him. He provokes a Third World War, it (?) pulls us into darkness. But Ukraine emanates light. Kyiv was the cradle of the Slavic nations. Ukraine never attacked foreign territories. Ukraine is peace keeper. Ukraine wants no war.

Ukraine renounced its nuclear weapons for the sake of peace. Ukraine is a tender (?) element of the European and world unity. Our Maidan was a breakthrough of the 21st century, a victory of the peaceful power of the people. Today’s Ukraine is a battleground between light and darkness, between truth and lies, between war and peace.

 Mr. President Obama, words cannot stop tanks.”

You often ask, “Who is the leader of Ukraine today? Who was the leader on the Maidan?” Well, I will ask you, who is the leader of the world today? Here’s my appeal to America: Mr. President Obama, words cannot stop tanks. A war can only be stopped with resolute action. Be the leader; stop the war. Help Ukraine keep its freedom. America be the leader for the world and be strong. Europe and the rest of world will follow you. This is your final chan– chance. If you don’t do that now we will lose democracy, security, and the whole system of international relations forever.

Don’t wait for a new tragedy to happen. One tragedy already happened– on the Maidan, another happened to the Crimea, a third one is happen at– in East Ukraine. Help us stop Putin’s aggression, stop his megalomania. You are acting as if Putin is on Mars, but not earth. The problem is not the sanction, not the weapons, the problem is the courage. America be strong. America doesn’t want a war so then show that you are able to stop the war. Please do everything to safe human lives before it’s too late.

For the sake of peace until victory. Look at Ukraine. Look at Maidan. Look at us. We had no weapons and we went against snipers with the flag and the anthem of Ukraine. We were being killed by the Yanukovych government, but we never took up weapons. And we won.

We were fearless. We are from different regions, churches (?), languages and views. And we united against the dictatorship to protect our dignity and independence. We sacrificed ourselves for the future of Ukraine and the world. America, go for it. Show that the global interest is above private. Show that we can be great not mercantile. Unite the world. Demonstrate a world union. Do not fake (?) sanctions. Apply real sanctions to large companies in Russia such as Gazprom Rosneft, Russia’s the banks. To the big man of Russia, political leaders show that you are all together. Block Putin. Make a global boycott of any corporation, even in the most important projects with the person who destroyed the world. Act quickly. Be the first to act. Make Ukraine strong. The stronger is Ukraine the stronger will be peace. Give all necessary assistance to Ukraine and the equipment for which we asked. Tents and bandages will not stop Putin’s army.

Start fight his propaganda. Celebrities, don’t be silent. We are waiting for your statements in support of Ukraine and peace. Declare your stand against the war. Music and arts must be against the war. President Putin, if you want to destroy Ukraine you must understand it’s impossible. The spirit of Ukrainians are undefeated. You should know when people fight for their country they lose fear. I have no way back. I started to struggle on the Maidan and I will fight to the end. I’m not afraid of anything.

This flashlight is more powerful than tanks and propaganda. Switch on your flashlights, lights of freedom. Show the Maidan for peace here and now. I am proud of my country. I am proud to present the symbol of light and people power. Glory to Ukraine. We woke up the world.