I wish you health, dear Ukrainians!
First of all, I congratulate our anti-aircraft warriors - the warriors of the anti-aircraft missile troops of the Ukrainian Air Force, who are celebrating their holiday today.
I thank you for every target you have shot down, warriors! More than three thousand targets have been shot down: more than 180 aircraft, more than 130 helicopters, nearly 40 ballistic and more than a thousand cruise missiles, more than 1,600 drones of various types... All this means thousands and thousands of lives saved by you, hundreds of critical infrastructure facilities that you have protected.
During this war, eight anti-aircraft missile brigades received the honorary award "For Courage and Bravery". More than 1,100 anti-aircraft warriors received state awards, and eight of them were awarded the highest title - Hero of Ukraine. They are Colonel Serhiy Yaremenko, Lieutenant Colonels Volodymyr Vesnin, Andriy Kruhlov, Serhiy Poberezhets, Artem Sharkov, Dmytro Shumakov, Major Yaroslav Melnyk and Senior Lieutenant Artem Slisarchuk, who was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.
Unfortunately, our state does not yet have enough high-quality air defense systems to protect our entire territory and shoot down all enemy targets. The enemy is taking advantage of this, as it did today, when it launched another terrorist attack on the city of Sumy with an Iranian drone, hitting residential buildings and the building of the Security Service of Ukraine. As a result of these strikes, there are wounded and killed... My condolences! We will do everything possible and impossible to make our air defense system the most powerful. Today, General Oleshchuk, the commander of the Air Force, reported to me on our actions to strengthen air defense. The goal is for the Ukrainian sky shield to be able to protect our entire territory from Russian terror, and in the future, to become the basis for the European sky shield. This is absolutely necessary and absolutely possible.
By the way, I spoke with Mr. Chancellor Scholz today. Germany has helped Ukraine with air defense in a very powerful way. The brilliant German IRIS-T systems have proved to be very effective in protecting our skies. We also have very effective American Patriots, which were given to us by Germany. Ukraine is grateful for them, as well as for the rest of the vital assistance!
In today's conversation with Mr. Chancellor, we focused, of course, on further defense cooperation, as well as on strategic issues of protecting our Europe - a Europe that can only be peaceful if peace is guaranteed by full security certainty. Europe cannot have a deficit of security certainty that will provoke Russian tyranny and aggression. Russia will try to take a bite out of Europe only when it sees any kind of security uncertainty. When everything is certain and obvious, Russian tyranny does not dare to violate security.
It is obvious that Europe can be protected from any aggression only together with Ukraine and only together with Ukraine in NATO. That is why we must achieve security certainty about our future in the Alliance. Then Russia will have to refocus on its own statehood - to finally take care of itself, not some expansions.
We are preparing for the Summit very actively, and we expect our partners to be as determined as this historic moment requires.
And, of course, our active actions. The frontline.
The heroic 35th and 36th separate marine brigades - thank you, warriors! The 47th separate mechanized brigade "Magura" - thank you! The glorious 55th separate artillery brigade "Zaporizhzhia Sich" - thank you, warriors! The 128th separate brigade of the Territorial Defense Forces - thank you!
Today, it is worth mentioning Junior Lieutenant Oleksandr Pavlov, platoon commander of the 36th marine brigade. His confident and powerful actions, skillful command in combat bring good results to the state. Thank you!
The crew of the T-80 tank under the command of Junior Sergeant Andriy Marchuk - thank you for your accuracy and bravery! This is the 36th marine brigade.
And from the 35th brigade, I would like to mention the tank commander, Junior Sergeant Artem Obrazko, for his true Ukrainian courage and skill in liberating Makarivka. Thank you, Artem!
Senior Soldier Yevhen Piddubnyi, a sapper from the 47th mechanized brigade. He operates in a very hot area and performs his tasks very effectively. Thank you, Yevhen!
Captain Ivan Ohurtsov. Operating in the Avdiivka sector, our artillery fire groups under his command are very effective in destroying enemy positions and depots. Thank you, warrior!
Maryinka direction... The artillery division under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Pavlo Lukyanov does not give the occupiers a single minute of rest. Your combat results are really significant! Thank you!
I thank everyone who is now in combat, at combat posts and in positions! Thank you to everyone who helps!
And one more thing.
Today, the world once again saw how the Kremlin - unfortunately, at the hands of the current Georgian government - is killing Ukrainian citizen Mykhailo Saakashvili. Human life is the highest value, and we cannot allow Mykhailo to be simply killed. Ukraine has repeatedly called on the Georgian authorities to stop this demonstrative execution. Both we and our partners have offered various options to save Mykhailo. Today, I have instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to summon the Ambassador of Georgia to Ukraine, to express our protest and to offer him to leave Ukraine within the next 48 hours to hold consultations with his capital. Once again, I call on the Georgian authorities to transfer Ukrainian citizen Mykhailo Saakashvili to Ukraine for the necessary treatment and care. And I urge our partners to address this situation, not to ignore it and save this man. No government in Europe has the right to execute people, life is a basic European value.
Glory to Ukraine!