President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko awarded Taras Shevchenko National Prize 2014 to the prominent cultural figures.
Congratulating the laureates in Shevchenko Museum of Kyiv, the Head of State said: "It happened that the jubilee year of the 200th anniversary of the Great Kobzar's birthday has become a true Shevchenko's year in its spirit. For Ukraine has risen up and broken its heavy chains!" "The country lives and breathes freedom, bravely and heroically resists aggression," the President noted. He once again reminded the words of Taras Shevchenko: "Ukraine has watered with the tyrants' blood the freedom it has gained".
The President recalled the words of Ostap Vyshnya about the Great Kobzar: "Taras Shevchenko! One man was enough to save the entire nation". "I think that today it is topical as never before," he added. The Head of State expressed an opinion that Taras Shevchenko would have been proud of current soldiers, their behavior and heroism.
Petro Poroshenko underlined the importance of the role of art in a difficult time for the country. He doesn't agree with the Latin saying "When the cannons roar the muses are silent". "Now, in such a difficult period for the country, in the course of a true Patriotic War, art cannot fade into insignificance. Your fantastic work is essential now," the President addressed the artists.
"Our heroes, who defend Ukraine sacrificing the most valuable – their lives, deserve to be the characters of your movies, plays, paintings and songs," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
The Head of State stressed that language and culture help Ukrainians overcome challenges and threats, as well as assert independence, unity and sovereignty of Ukraine. "We, Ukrainians, speak different languages, but only Ukrainian language has and will have the special state status. We clearly know: If Ukrainian language lives, Ukraine will live as well," the President noted.
Petro Poroshenko drew attention to the fact that the list of the laureates included representatives of various regions of Ukraine. "You represent various regions of our country by birth, origin and place of work. In your biographies, I've noticed references of Zakarpattia and Galicia, Kyiv and Cherkasy region, Luhansk and Donetsk region. This is how our cultural space looks like," the President said.