On January 13, 2020, the fourth live charity concert-telethon supporting Ukraine “Together for Victory!” (Kartu iki Pergalės!) took place on the Lithuanian National Radio and Television channel “LRT”. This year the event was held in the format of live Ukraine-Lithuania TV bridge on the “LRT” (Lithuania) and “5 Channel” (Ukraine) channels.
The telethon, organized by the international volunteer organization “Blue/Yellow” and the Lithuanian national radio and television, was dedicated to the 29th anniversary of Freedom Defenders’ Day – the tragic events in Vilnius on January 13, 1991. The telethon was held under the patronage and direct participation of the President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda.
The most famous Lithuanian singers performed live music and songs in Lithuanian and Ukrainian, the Ukrainian band “TaRuta” performed the song in Lithuanian “Amžinoji trauka Lietuva” (“Eternal attraction of Lithuania”). Spectators also watched the stories about Ukrainian settlements affected by the Russian aggression, interviews with their residents and Ukrainian military serving in the east of our country.
The President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis, the Commander of the Lithuanian Land Forces Brigade General Raimundas Vaikšnoras, the Head of the volunteer organization “Blue/Yellow” Jonas Oehman, the Chief Executive Officer of “LRT” Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė, the Catholic priest Ričardas Doveika, the well-known Lithuanian journalist Edmundas Jakilaitis, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Lithuania Volodymyr Yatsenkivskyi addressed speeches from the “LRT”studio to the audience. A video address by the former president of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė was shown during the telethon.
During the telethon at LRT Studio, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Lithuania V. Yatsenkivskyi read a letter of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the President of Lithuania G. Nausėda, where the Head of the Ukrainian State stressed that the Ukrainian people remember and honour the heroes of the tragic events of January 13, 1991 in Vilnius. Freedom Defenders’ Day, which is celebrated annually in Lithuania, became an important symbol of the Lithuanian people's struggle and an example for Ukraine, as Ukrainians have defended Lithuania's independence and human dignity side by side with Lithuanians. The President of Ukraine stated in his letter that today the Republic of Lithuania and its citizens are providing valuable assistance to Ukraine to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity from external aggression. Ukraine highly values the organization of medical rehabilitation for Ukrainian servicemen in Lithuania, assistance in the military training of Ukrainian Armed Forces units under NATO standards, as well as humanitarian assistance to the population of the affected Ukrainian regions and participation in the reconstruction of Donbass infrastructure. An important manifestation of support for Ukraine, V. Zelenskyy stressed, is the organization of the fourth annual telethon “Together for Victory!”. In his address to the Head of the Lithuanian State, the President of Ukraine expressed his conviction in further strengthening of the strategic relations between Ukraine and Lithuania in an atmosphere of mutual respect and partnership, and wished peace, harmony and prosperity to the brotherly Lithuanian nation.
Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Lithuania V. Yatsenkivskyi also addressed all Lithuanians in Lithuanian with the words of sincere gratitude for constant support and assistance to Ukraine.
The telethon was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Lithuania and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Lithuania, members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuanian political establishment, representatives of the diplomatic missions accredited in Lithuania, among them the Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with spouse, the Ambassador of Finland, Chargé d'affaires ad interim of the United States of America with spouse, Chargé d'affaires ad interim of Georgia and Sweden, Lithuanian public figures, Ukrainian community of Vilnius, Ukrainian servicemen studying in Lithuania, Ukrainian activists who participated in the events of January 13, 1991 in Vilnius, staff of the Embassy of Ukraine in Lithuania and their families, Ukrainian pupils from the government-controlled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and Dnipro city who will study the whole year at “Vilnius Lithuanians’ House” under support of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, and other guests.
The telethon at the studio of “5 Channel” was attended by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar, the Ambassador of Lithuania to Ukraine Marius Janukonis, Ukrainian servicemen, in particular, the Hero of Ukraine Major General Ihor Gordiychuk, Ukrainian active participants of the events of January 13, 1991 in Vilnius, in particular, Yevhen Dykyi, representatives of volunteer movement, and others.
In just three hours of telethon, the audience donated over 120 thousand euros that will be handed over as humanitarian aid to the needs of the eastern regions of Ukraine, affected by external aggression. The recipient of the funds is an international volunteer organization “Blue/Yellow”, that provides help to Ukrainian servicemen and their families, to children who lost their parents and to communities that suffer from military actions.