The President handed state awards to the Ukrainian militaries who defended the Donetsk airport. Among the awardees are “cyborgs” and families of the fallen heroes.
“Today, we assembled to pay tribute to our heroes – the best Ukrainian men who became a true Ukrainian legend. Patriotism and love to the native land are the reasons of their extraordinary valor,” Petro Poroshenko said.
“Walls were broken but “cyborgs” kept standing. They didn’t yield themselves prisoners even at the cost of their lives,” the President noted at the beginning of the ceremony.
The President awarded the Star of Hero of Ukraine (posthumously) to the family of Ivan Zubkov, brave Ukrainian warrior, who saved his sworn brothers in the Donetsk airport. On behalf of the Ukrainian nation, the President thanked the parents of the hero for raising a son that will be an example for the future generations of Ukrainian patriots and warriors.
“I am proud that Ukraine has such warriors: heavily wounded, they do not give up, do not abandon their sworn brothers. Together with Ivan Zubkov, Yuriy Osaulko, Vasyl Hryhoryev and Ruslan Konoshenko went to eternity invincible. It is very important for us to remember them,” the President emphasized.
“I would like schools and streets to be named after them, for it is our war for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will certainly win this war having such warriors. Heroes do not die,” the Head of State said.
Mother of Ivan Zubkov Antonina Petrivna expressed gratitude for such a high award. She believes that “Ivan’s sworn brothers will finish the job of her son”. “Ukraine will become independent, free and European state,” she said.
The President has thanked the representatives of the Ukrainian World Congress and the Ukrainian Diaspora of Canada present at the meeting for their assistance to the Ukrainian troops provided via the project “Support a Soldier”. “Due to your position, an unprecedented movement was born – Ukrainian volunteer movement all over the world. Victory will be impossible without this movement. Ukraine is in our hearts and it is one for all of us,” Petro Poroshenko noted.
UWC Vice President Olena Koszarny emphasized: “We are one Ukrainian family. It doesn’t matter what passport we have – Canadian or Ukrainian. This war affects every Ukrainian family and we feel it in our Diaspora”.
Sworn brothers of Ivan Zubkov demonstrated a short film about him dedicated to the defense of the Donetsk airport.
UWC President Eugene Czolij assured the President that the Ukrainian Diaspora and the Ukrainian World Congress would make every effort for the Ukrainian nation, which had gained the victory in Euromaidan, to gain another great victory – “kick away Russian troops from the Ukrainian territory and turn Ukraine into a flourishing, independent and European state”.