“Our AFU are the warriors of peace who got in the way of Russian troops, defended Ukraine and the eastern frontier of the whole European continent. Our Armed Forces are the warriors of honor, for whom duty and oath are above all. Our Armed Forces are the soldiers of courage, fearless professionals in military affairs," President Petro Poroshenko said during his speech at the solemn events on the occasion of the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security in Lviv Region.
The Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the AFU called the Ukrainian troops a pride and honor of Ukraine.
The President noted that 37 of 46 frontline Heroes of Ukraine are from the Armed Forces. In general, for the manifestation of courage and heroism, 14,173 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were awarded. Of these, 2,320 - posthumously.
The attendees paid tribute to the fallen Ukrainian heroes with a moment of silence.
The President stressed that "the revived Armed Forces of Ukraine day by day increase their combat potential and their combat capabilities". At the same time, he said that over the past two years, more than a hundred thousand contractors have joined the army: about seventy thousand last year, more than thirty one thousand this year.
“We have refused partial mobilization. And, by the way, I would like to remind you once more that such a change would not have become a reality without the Minsk agreements,” Petro Poroshenko said.
The President stressed that today, an operational reserve of more than 135 thousand soldiers with combat experience had been created, "who have passed the frontline and are ready to return there if necessary".
“We have improved the provision of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with up-to-date and upgraded weapons and military equipment. Tomorrow, I hope the Verkhovna Rada will vote on the budget for 2018, and the army will receive 86 billion hryvnias in this budget. Could Ukrainian warriors ever dream about this?” the President said. He emphasized that this figure is 25% more than in 2017.
The Head of State stressed that in the shortest time we have created new combat brigades, organized a reliable system of troop supply, started building and reconstruction of military facilities, and "greatly improved the social protection of military personnel".
The President emphasized: “The AFU gained a priceless combat experience in battles with the Russian aggressor”. He expressed gratitude and support to our troops holding back the enemy and resisting an unprecedented burden from the actions of the aggressor that uses the most advanced weapons: modern tanks, heavy artillery, anti-aircraft defense, intelligence and radio-electronic warfare.
Petro Poroshenko noted the quality of the military's food: "I am confident that this is also a symbol of the restructuring of our Armed Forces. I'm happy to hear and glad that our soldiers are also satisfied with it".