The world is closely watching what is happening in Ukraine. Some are inspired as Ukraine builds a democracy from the grass roots up, while others are hoping the reform movement that began in 2014 will fail, said U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power.

Speaking in Kyiv June 11, Power told her Ukrainian audience to “consider this: Everyone who has bet against you so far has been proven wrong.”

Reminding listeners that the United States has stood in solidarity with the Ukrainian people since the 2014 protests in Kyiv’s central Independence Square  known as the Maidan — sparked the country’s democratic movement, she said Ukraine’s reform aspirations pose “an existential threat” to Russia’s model of government.

Ambassador Power honors Ukrainians who died in anti-government protests during her visit to Kyiv. (© AP Images)

“It is this idea — that the people can use their voice to hold their leaders accountable — that is so threatening to the autocratic government in Russia. And it is the reason the Russian government is working so desperately to sabotage your efforts at reform,” she said.

“But Russia made a very serious miscalculation: It underestimated your resilience and your willingness to unite to help your fellow citizens. And it underestimated the tenacity of your commitment to changing the system,” she said.

Power said too often people talk about what is happening in Ukraine as a global or regional conflict, while leaving the Ukrainian people themselves and the “willingness to fight for your voice” out of the story.

“You, Ukraine, are standing tall for your freedom. And if you stand tall together — no kleptocrat, no oligarch, and no foreign power can stop you.”

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