Good health to you, fellow Ukrainians!
A report on the activity during the day.
I took part in the work of a special forum of veterans. And announced changes in state policy regarding the veteran community - we must create more opportunities for veterans. Without such changes, without this reform, it is simply impossible.
Veterans of the war for independence of Ukraine have become one of the most significant and respected groups in our society. With their specificity, with their needs, with their expectations, which must be responded to so that veterans can contribute not only to the defense of our state on the frontline, but also to the post-war development of Ukraine.
And not only the state must react, but also business, which is very important, employers, education.
We will create such a system of veteran policy and services for veterans, opportunities for their transition from military affairs to civilian life, which will be on a par with the strongest similar systems in the world. You can cite the example of the Israeli model, as well as the American one.
But our goal is for the Ukrainian experience of veteran policy to eventually become a new example for others in the world to follow.
I held a large meeting with representatives of the defense and security sector. Zaluzhny, Monastyrskyi, Danilov, Budanov and others were present. The key issues are, of course, the situation on the frontline, the security situation in big cities, as well as specific security measures due to the holidays and important political events this week - meetings, negotiations.
We are already fully prepared for the second summit of the Crimea Platform. This year's summit will be even more powerful than last year, in terms of both the number of participants and the topics of discussion. We are significantly expanding the format of the Crimea Platform - tomorrow we will announce all the details.
And today the new diplomatic and security format "Kyiv Initiative" was founded. Ukraine's European neighbors are already participating in its work. These are Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the Baltic states. We will gradually involve other countries. In the "Kyiv Initiative" format, the work takes place at the level of foreign policy advisors to the heads of state. From the Ukrainian side, these are Andriy Sybiha and Andriy Yermak. And this format will allow us to strengthen cooperation in the region and joint protection of our interests, primarily security. This is a very promising line of our work in the Euro-Atlantic direction.
Today there is good infrastructural news - the railway branch connecting Ukraine and Moldova has been upgraded and launched. Moreover, we did it both on our territory and on the territory of Moldova - our "Ukrzaliznytsia" did it, well done. This route has been closed for almost 25 years, and now it is working for Ukraine again. This is an important transport direction. And the average volume of cargo per year can be about 10 million tons. I am grateful to our partners from Moldova.
Search operations at the site of the occupiers' attack on a residential building in Kharkiv have ended. The building was destroyed by Russian shelling last Wednesday. Only today we managed to get the bodies of all the dead from under the rubble. This Russian strike alone claimed the lives of 19 people. One strike. And savages have not stopped such strikes at different parts of our country for 180 days.
The total number of various cruise missiles that Russia has used against us is approaching 3,500. It is simply impossible to count the strikes of Russian artillery - there are too many of them, they are too intense. And at the same time, the terrorist state does not stop playing around with international structures and once again has the audacity to convene the UN Security Council to discuss its own provocations, its own terror at the Zaporizhzhia NPP...
I am grateful to all European politicians who do not forget that the eighth sanctions package against Russia is needed. The longer the interval between sanctions packages is, the greater Russia's audacity is. And I am grateful to all our friends, all friends of freedom in different countries of the world, who promote the need to recognize the objective reality and legally define Russia as a terrorist state. This decision will come sooner or later, and the only question is how many more lives Russia will manage to take away before the retaliatory strikes from the international community become truly tangible for those responsible for this terror.
And, dear Ukrainians, especially these days, when we celebrate the day of our flag and the day of our independence, if you are somewhere abroad, please remind about Ukraine there, be there with the Ukrainian flag and spread the truth about the crimes of the occupiers.
Let's all stick together, no matter where we, Ukrainians, are!
Glory to all who protect the state!
Gratitude to everyone who fights for Ukraine!
Glory to Ukraine!