President Petro Poroshenko says that the Ukrainian volunteers were the first to defend the state in the beginning of the Russian aggression and became the basis of the new Ukrainian army. It was stated during a speech on the Day of the Ukrainian Volunteer in the Operations Battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine named after Hero of Ukraine, Major-General Serhiy Kulchytsky.
"When in March 2014 it became clear that the war began. It became clear that our independence was threatened and that Ukraine was actually defenseless, something that the enemy had not expected happened - the Ukrainian people organized themselves instantly," Petro Poroshenko stressed.
"And the hundreds of Maidan self-defense in the most difficult time for Ukraine have decided to take responsibility for the defense of the Homeland. This was the beginning of the mass volunteer movement, which became the basis and the driving force of the new Ukrainian army. On March 14, 2014, more than five hundred volunteer fighters arrived at the Novi Petrivtsi training ground. And this was the beginning of the first volunteer battalion. I remember the day when it was a high honor to be among you," the President said.
According to him, in a short term, students and scientists, businessmen and workers, doctors and artists had to turn into professional soldiers. "Volunteer battalions have joined the battle against Russian invaders and their local collaborationists," the President added.
The Head of State noted that March 14 reminds of recent yet already historic events. "In February 2014, the country was in a traumatic shock after the brutal shooting of Maidan, the shooting of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred. But each of us believed that the worst was already behind. And it seemed that peace, the revival of democratic, European, Ukrainian Ukraine was ahead," he said.
The President stressed: "We did not know yet that the deaths of civilians were not the last tragedy, but the first bloody special operation of the Russian military aggression. "Green men", occupation and annexation of Crimea, pro-Russian provocations in Donbas. The enemy treacherously hit the country in the most difficult transition period when the new democratic government was trying to take control of the situation in the country".
According to Petro Poroshenko, the Kremlin was absolutely sure of the success of its Blitzkrieg. "They knew very well that the Ukrainian army was looted, sold out, destroyed from the inside and de facto incapacitated. It is not a surprise, since the destruction of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been taking place under the leadership of Russian curators," the President said.