Today I will start with a story about one person. About Oleksandr Makhov - a well-known journalist. I'm sure you've seen his reports on Ukraine and Dom TV channels. You may have seen his comments, his posts. He has always been like that - with his own position. Patriotic and sincere. And always without vanity. And he was always among the bravest, among the first. He always worked in the hottest spots. Tried to bring true material. Powerful material.
In 2017, he was the first Ukrainian journalist to visit our station in Antarctica. When COVID came, he was not afraid. He has lived in Sanzhary for two weeks, where Ukrainians were brought to from China. From the first day of the full-scale war, he was on the frontline. Volunteer. ATO veteran. Warrior of the 95th assault brigade.
Born in the Luhansk region. He had a special feeling of what this war means.
Today he died in the Kharkiv region, in the battles near Izium. He was 36 years old. My sincere condolences to relatives and friends. Let his son Vladyslav know: Russia will bear responsibility for this death. We will definitely gain victory for Ukraine. I'm sure it was Oleksandr's dream. And we will make it come true.
Eternal memory to him and to all our heroes who gave lives for Ukraine!
The second stage of our evacuation operation from Mariupol was completed today. 344 people were rescued - from the city and its suburbs. That's how many people departed to Zaporizhzhia today. Our team is getting ready to meet them. Meet in the same way as more than 150 people whom we managed to take out of Azovstal. They all receive the necessary help. All of them will receive the most caring treatment from our state.
I am grateful to all those who make the evacuation operation successful: Iryna Vereshchuk, Andriy Yermak, David Arakhamia, UN representatives, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and everyone who reached an agreement and provided silence and corridors for the people.
We are negotiating and hope to continue rescuing people from Azovstal, from Mariupol. There are still civilians. Women, children.
To save them, we need to continue the silence. The Ukrainian side is ready to provide it. It takes time to just lift people out of those basements, out of those underground shelters. In the current conditions, we cannot use special equipment to clear the debris. Everything is done manually. But we believe that everything will work out.
I spoke today with UN Secretary-General António Guterres. About what has already happened. What we still have to do to save Mariupol residents and defenders of the city. There was not a day when I didn't do it, when we didn't do it. And I am grateful to everyone who helps.
I spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Bennett. I congratulated him on the Independence Day of the State of Israel. We talked about the situation in the east of our country and especially in Mariupol. We also discussed the scandalous and completely unacceptable statements of the Russian Foreign Minister, which outraged the whole world.
I spoke with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte. We agreed on the next diplomatic steps needed for peace. We discussed how to bring to justice all war criminals. Every Russian soldier and every commander who killed, tortured and tormented our people.
Today, the Russian invaders launched another missile strike at our cities. At Dnipro, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Zaporizhzhia. At the cities of Donbas and other regions of our country. All these crimes will get proper answers. Both legal and quite practical - on the battlefield.
I addressed the people of Denmark today on the occasion of Liberation Day. The Nazis were expelled from this country 77 years ago. Every year in May, all Europeans, all decent people on earth recall this feat - victory over the worst evil in human history. Victory in the war against Nazism.
But to recall means not just to remember. This means remembering and really trying to never allow what the Nazis did to Europe again. It is the Ukrainians, together with our friends and partners - the anti-war coalition, as the anti-Hitler once was - that are repelling those who have forgotten exactly why people rejoiced in 1945. Because if everyone in Russia really remembered, this war simply would not have started now.
Traditionally, before delivering the evening address, I signed a decree awarding our defenders. 35 servicemen of the 19th missile brigade of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were awarded state awards.
I am grateful to all our heroes!
To all who stood up for our state.
Glory to Ukraine!