President of Ukraine

Address by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Verkhovna Rada on the Internal and External Situation of Ukraine

20 October 2020 - 12:26

Address by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Verkhovna Rada on the Internal and External Situation of Ukraine

Dear nation! Fellow citizens of Ukraine!

Distinguished people’s deputies, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Prime Minister, members of the Government and the Office of the President, distinguished judges, diplomatic corps representatives, Your Beatitudes, distinguished journalists!

Under the Constitution of Ukraine, I deliver an address about the internal and external situation of Ukraine. And such an official beginning will be the only thing in common with the previous addresses of the Presidents of Ukraine.

It's time to change traditions. Earlier, deputies were given a huge Talmud, which they were not going to read, and the President was not going to fulfill.

You can download this address using the QR code in front of you.

For those who don't know how or think it's part of Bill Gates' plan to carry out chip implantment of the population, the address will appear on the official website of the Office of the President.

Second. Starting from next year, I suggest inviting the military, doctors, teachers, students, young families, pensioners, public figures, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and athletes from every region of Ukraine.

Reporting on what has been done and presenting plans for the future to the people who hired me for five years.

I will gladly do it today. The basis of my report is logical, yet atypical. Because usually Presidents prefer not to mention this document after the victory.

This is an electoral program. And together with the citizens of Ukraine today we will openly discuss several important issues.

What did I promise? What did I do? What did I fail to do and why? What will be done and when?

I will not waste much time on a detailed analysis of the country, which in 2019 we inherited. All Ukrainians saw and knew this perfectly well. And many of those present in this hall as well. In previous years, each party, with the exception of the Servant of the People, had either a former President or twice Prime Minister, Minister of Industry, Emergencies, Economic Development, Social Policy, Deputy Ministers of Education and Science, Health.

Today, all of them actively give advice: how to overcome corruption, raise the economy and medicine, build roads and achieve peace in Ukraine. Let's put aside the question why they did not do it themselves. Let's talk about what we will do today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

Let's start with a topic that was not in my or any other program. Which no one thought about in Ukraine or in the world. This is COVID-19.

With its outbreak, we have taken tough and effective measures. We chose between two scenarios - bad and even worse. A blow to the economy due to quarantine or a huge number of sick and dead? Of course, we chose the first option.

We managed to save the lives of thousands of Ukrainians and gain valuable time.

Because even the medical systems of the most successful countries were unprepared for coronavirus, and our medicine - even more so. The system of laboratories was destroyed - there were five of them in Ukraine. Now - dozens of times more. We have restored the vertical of state public health physicians. And if someone thinks that the State Reserve was waiting for us with shelves filled with everything we need - he'll be disappointed. The masks were last purchased in 2007, and their shelf life has long expired.

We quickly covered the deficit. Initially, deliveries from China and South Korea were organized. Masks, tests, disinfectants, suits, ventilators. And then we deployed and established large-scale Ukrainian production.

We have increased the salaries of doctors who fight COVID-19 to 300%. Yes, due to the imperfection of the bureaucratic system there were difficulties with payments in the regions, but they are in the past.

Clinical trials of Ukrainian drugs that minimize the risk of complications and mortality from COVID-19 are underway.

We withstood the first stage and passed it with minimal losses. Yes, there is a predicted reduction in the economy and GDP. But it affected all countries of the world. But compared to many European countries, our decline is smaller.

As well as the mortality rate from COVID-19. Germany - 4%, France - 9%, Great Britain - 11%. Ukraine - 1.9%. We do not rejoice. We sympathize with others. Moreover, we have no right to relax. Counteraction of COVID-19 continues. Records in the number of patients are reported worldwide every day, unfortunately, Ukraine is no exception. Adaptive quarantine and less stringent safety measures were needed to restore Ukraine's economy. But this does not abolish the basic rules.

I would like to address all the citizens who, despite the dreadful daily figures, either do not wear masks at all, or do so just to tick the box. The mask on your face is the safety of other people. This also applies to deputies.

It is clear that local elections also make their adjustments. Local authorities want to please voters. They sabotage government decisions and conduct concerts for thousands of people on City Day.

This is a game of "bad cop" in the capital and "good cop" on the ground.

Be aware that there may be more votes for you in your region.

But the number of sick and dead will be your fault.

No matter what, I believe that we will overcome everything. We have already discussed with European partners the supply of the vaccine to Ukraine as soon as it appears. We have incredible health workers. And everyone else who fights coronavirus. The main thing is to be united. We have repeatedly proved that when Ukrainians are united, they can defeat any virus - even from China, even from the northern neighbor.

We will remember 2020 for a long time. It brought Ukraine many disasters that we experienced together. COVID-19, the downing of our plane in Iran, large-scale forest fires, floods in western Ukraine, drought in the south. Crash of the aircraft with military pilots and cadets.

We need to draw the right conclusions and become stronger. Prevent threats so as not to overcome the consequences. To pursue a new philosophy - a country that is always ready for anything. Or able to adapt as quickly as possible and counter new threats. I will present this principle today, although it was not in my program.

Let's return directly to it - to the program. The point that was not the first, but is the most important for me and, I am convinced, for all Ukrainians, is the end of the war in Donbas, the achievement of peace, the return of our people and the return of our territories.

We have unblocked the Normandy process, which has been blocked since 2016. 136 of our people were released and returned to their families. These are our sailors, these are Oleh Sentsov, Edem Bekirov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Stanislav Aseyev and many others. We fight for every Ukrainian, both military and civilian. For me, a human is the highest value. And every citizen should know: I am Ukrainian, and my state will not leave me.

The process of releasing our citizens is underway, we remember all those who are still in captivity, and we are doing everything we can to bring them back.

A ceasefire was announced on July 27. Today, the regime of silence lasts for the 86th day in a row - the longest in years of war.

Is it perfect? No. Are there violations? Yes. Are there any attempts to disrupt it? Certainly. But we must admit - the number of shots has decreased significantly. Throughout all these days we have one combat loss. It hurts. But the fact that there are days, weeks and even months when we do not bury our heroes, when mothers and children do not cry, gives us hope. When locals say they don't listen to the news about "silence" because they hear real silence, it gives hope.

The European Union, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Turkey and our other partners continue the unwavering support of Ukraine.

Our diplomats are constantly working to prepare for the next Normandy Summit in Berlin. We look forward to holding it as soon as possible and continuing the dialogue and movement for the sake of the long-awaited peace in Ukraine.

We do not forget that our citizens live both in Crimea, and in the occupied Donbas. And we have to take care of them and fight for them.

We have restored the bridge and the road in Stanytsia Luhanska, resolved the issue of drinking water in Donbas.

We are building new, convenient, modern checkpoints, including on the border with Crimea. It is very important what kind of Ukraine our citizens see when crossing the temporary border. We do our best for them to see it illuminated, paved and comfortable.

We are fighting for the youth in these territories, for their intelligence. Starting from this year, children from Crimea and ORDLO can go to all higher education institutions in Ukraine and study there for free.

We really want people there to know the truth about Ukraine from Ukraine, not from Kiselyov. We launched the Dom channel, which broadcasts to Crimea and Donbas. Of course, we can't have objective numbers of views there, but the barrage of constant criticism of the Dom channel from the Russian media shows that things are moving in the right direction.

I always invite world leaders to visit not only Kyiv - to visit the Donetsk and Luhansk regions with me. We have already done this with Donald Tusk, President of Switzerland Ms. Sommaruga, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Martin Sajdik, Ambassadors of Germany and France to Ukraine – Ms. Feldhusen and Mr. de Poncins. They see the real situation there and pass it on to our other partners. I am very glad that tomorrow 120 deputies of the Servant of the People party will go to Donbas as well.

Not to Turkey, not to Maldives as before. The deputies will go to the frontline.

And they will hear about the situation there not from social networks, but from our military and local residents.

Peace in Donbas and deoccupation of Crimea are my key priorities. Unfortunately, the issue of Crimea has never been on the agenda of the Normandy format. But it has been, is and will always be on our agenda. As long as Crimea remains occupied and Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are regularly persecuted, the world must not forget about Crimea.

You can post funny memes about the security guarantees of the Budapest Memorandum as much as you want, but it will not return our territories.

We are looking for new effective tools for this. The issue of Crimea has been returned to the international agenda. We are creating a "Crimean Platform" format. This is a coordination of international efforts to protect the rights of Crimeans and deoccupy the peninsula. I have already discussed this initiative in detail with representatives of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Turkey and other partners. Many of them are ready to join and take an active part in it.

In addition, for the Ukrainian national anthem to be played at Donbas Arena and our flag to be hoisted over Crimea, we must make decisions that will bring deoccupation closer. All Ukrainians must equally understand what will happen after the liberation and return of our temporarily occupied territories. Having achieved peace, we will begin secure reintegration based on successful international experience. This is a package of laws on the transition period, first of all - on responsibility.

There is much room for manipulation here. Let's speak in more detail. The dreadful word "amnesty" is not about everyone and not about avoiding responsibility.

It is about millions of our citizens whose hands are not coated with blood and who are now in fact being held hostage by the invader. And they need a clear signal – do not be afraid, a decent future is possible only with Ukraine.

Already today we are building a new Donbas in the free territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Modern, safe, wealthy. But special economic conditions are needed to make the region most affected by Russian aggression like this. We need the Strategy of economic development of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which will include tax and customs preferences, insurance of military-political risks for investors, arbitration according to international standards. Work on it has already begun.

I would like to emphasize once again that the onset of peace in Ukraine does not mean that we will stop caring about the army. On the contrary, only a modern and capable army will guarantee the continued observance of peace and be the key to Ukraine's security.

There were fake draft notices, horror stories that Zelenskyy would destroy the army. It was all there. But there are indisputable facts. In 2020, the budget for the army became the largest in the history of Ukraine. During the coronavirus crisis, it did not decrease by a single hryvnia. And please do not spread the "betrayal" that in the year 2021 we will decrease funds for the army. This is impossible because the budget has not yet been approved. I will not allow this to happen. I will not allow this to happen. At the very least, these funds will remain at this year's level. That is more than 117 billion hryvnias. That is 15 billion more than in the era of billboards about the army.

Yes, we did not have such billboards, but we are strengthening the army in deed. The US Congress has approved $ 250 million in military aid to Ukraine. In the United Kingdom, we have signed an agreement for 1 billion 250 million pounds to strengthen the Ukrainian Navy. We have received and are waiting for additional speedboats of the Island class. Together with Turkey, we will produce corvettes, engines and military drones, as well as develop air defense systems.

We began manufacturing the latest samples of weapons: the control complex of the artillery division "Obolon-A", mortar complex "Bars"; artillery ammunition, in particular for jet systems. The "Vilkha-M" MLRS and the "Typhoon" missile systems are being tested. The modernization of the frigate “Hetman Sahaidachny" and preparation for the testing of the landing boats "Centaur" continues. The anti-ship cruise missile "Neptune" was adopted.

We start building two state-owned Ukrainian naval bases to protect the Black Sea region.

You can lie about our non-patriotic position, but for the first time since 2014, volunteers have received the status of combatants. Foreigners who defended Ukraine receive citizenship. And Ukraine has received the status of a NATO partner with enhanced opportunities.

We have reset the General Staff to the typical structure of NATO member states. Rapid Trident joint exercises were successfully held. We continue to implement NATO standards and the interoperability of our troops with NATO forces.

These are all important steps to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities and security.

But the most important thing that our army has is people. Our fighters. We are working to provide the most decent conditions for them and their families. We are building a Ukrainian army that will be able to defend Ukraine on land, in water, in the air and in cyberspace. So that no one would even think of encroaching on our sovereignty, our territorial integrity or taking away part of Ukraine's territory without a single shot. This will never happen. And those who surrendered Crimea without a fight must be held accountable.

I want everyone to understand: the question is not revenge - the question is justice. Society needs answers. And it's not just about this issue. People have thousands of them. Lack of answers and justice leads to a loss of trust. It is impossible to build a successful country if society does not trust the state. Trust is not only about the attitude towards state bodies, but also about people's participation in solving problems and making decisions.

That is why democracy was an important point of my program.

This will restore citizens' trust in the state and its institutions. By the way, this is a problem not only of Ukraine, but also of many other states. As a result, various instruments of democracy and direct democracy emerge. There are many successful examples of their use in Switzerland, Canada and Ireland.

Although the most successful is well known to you all. This is December 1, 1991. When 28 million 804 thousand and 71 citizens of Ukraine voted for the Independence of Ukraine in the referendum.

With that in mind, it is strange when you say that it is dangerous to ask the opinion of Ukrainians. That people will be fooled because there are no free independent media in the country. It is cynical that it is said by people present in this hall. Party leaders, one of which owns three TV channels and the other one – two.

You say that the Ukrainian people are immature and not ready to make decisions. But let me remind you that it was the Ukrainian people who made two revolutions - in 2004 and 2014. As a result, most of you found yourself in this hall.

There will be democracy in Ukraine. It is the duty of the state to provide citizens with comprehensive access to information for decision-making.

People should influence topical issues for their region and for the whole country. Do this once a week, once a month or once a year. As much as is needed.

The first bill for democracy is ready and submitted by me.

I call on all people's deputies - finally give Ukrainians a real mechanism to form the main tasks for the government, to influence decisions, to feel their involvement in change. To feel that their opinion is important not only during elections. That's fair.

Justice and equality are the next item of my program.

I promised to start it with myself. There have been many attempts, but the law on the impeachment of the President has not been passed during the term of any President. We did it.

Opponents say it's a fake, and the law doesn't really work. But you said the same about lifting parliamentary immunity.

Then why for the first time in the history of Ukraine, a deputy of the pro-government, presidential party, after the publication of a video from NABU, is filed a charge two days later and ends up in a pre-trial detention center a week later? And to the counter-argument about bail I will say: read what I offered in the program in this regard. And no matter what - this is a historical precedent. And not the only one.

What all deputies have been promising for 28 years, we did in four months. Parliamentary immunity was lifted. "Piano voting" leads to criminal liability. Absenteeism leads to a fine. We deprived the parties that did not get into the Rada of state funding. And I am proud that the Servant of the People is the only party of the 9th convocation that refused this funding and allocated it to the fight against COVID-19.

We adopted the Electoral Code with open lists and eliminated the majority system. There was a complete reboot of the political system. Today there is no official in Ukraine who thinks that he is inviolable or "eternal". It doesn't matter if you are the head of the regional state administration, the Prosecutor General or the Prime Minister. No result – you are not in this office. That’s it.

Because this is the philosophy of my next point - not the man for the state, but the state for the man. This is a new format of relations between the state and the citizen. Where the state is a service. Convenient and clear.

To this end, we create a state in a smartphone. Already 26 million Ukrainians can use the "Diia" application and digital driver's license. Vehicle registration certificate, passport just in the smartphone. Or get a building permit in the electronic office of the developer, without the participation of an official.

Register your business in 15 minutes without leaving your computer. Faster than in most countries. Young parents can use the "yeMalyatko" service and receive services under a single application at the maternity hospital or online.

We became the first country in the world to have a digital passport. With which you can travel or open a bank account online.

And this is just the beginning of the road to a digital state. 2021 will be the beginning of the country's entering into paperless mode. No state institution will demand from Ukrainians any certificates, orders or other papers to obtain public services.

Our goal for the coming years is one hundred percent online public services. And in the next presidential elections, citizens should be able to vote online if they wish.

A digital country is not only convenient. This is a country where bureaucracy and corruption will become atypical. This is a powerful economic development, because the share of the digital economy in the world is growing rapidly.

A month ago, I signed a decree on favorable conditions for the development of the IT industry. Ukraine is already becoming a global IT hub. We are also creating a unique in the world virtual economic zone "Diia. City" with a special tax, financial and legal regime. This project will ensure the development of creative business and attract foreign investment.

Such ideas should unite Ukraine. Just like the idea that Ukrainians should live decently and be wealthy. To this end, we adopt laws that business, investors and international partners have been waiting for a long time.

The objectives of my program were de-shadowing of the economy, development of domestic production, affordable lending.

Let’s talk about specific steps in this direction.

We liquidated Ukrspirt's monopoly and brought this industry out of the shadows. The first distillery was privatized last week. This process should be continued, which in the future should increase revenues of the treasury by almost eight times.

Thousands of underground casinos were closed across the country. The law on legalization of the gambling industry was adopted. What existed in the shadows for years, next year, with the first licenses, should bring five billion hryvnias to the budget. Almost a thousand illegal gas stations were closed. In particular, due to this, the official networks of gas stations have reduced fuel prices.

The discount rate of the National Bank of Ukraine was reduced from 17% in April 2019 to a record 6%. What does it mean? This is a mortgage on housing not at 25%, but at 10% or less. In one year. Imagine. It has already appeared. These are business loans not at 20%, but at 5, 7, 9%. By the way, in less than a year under the 5-7-9 program, SMEs have already received more than 10 billion hryvnias.

The law on concessions was adopted. Tenders were held for the concession of Olvia and Kherson seaports, which attracted investors from Qatar, Georgia and Switzerland.

We started a large-scale privatization. It is important: we are talking not about strategic facilities of the state, but about hundreds of inefficient enterprises, where there was only corruption and debts.

Yesterday they caused losses to the state, and today they bring billions. For example, "Dnipro" hotel. By the way, it and a number of other objects became the first property in the history that was in the use of the President of Ukraine and was submitted for privatization.

We ensured energy security and signed a new 5-year contract with Gazprom for gas transit, as well as received $ 3 billion won in the Stockholm Arbitration. We begin the heating season with record gas and coal reserves.

From September 1, the minimum wage was increased to 5 thousand hryvnias.

In January 2021, it will be 6 thousand, in July – 6500. There was an indexation of pensions and an increase in pensions for the elderly.

Additional three billion hryvnias were allocated to increase pensions for people over 80. Next year - for people over 75.

Our important promise and, without exaggeration, a historic decision is the launch of a land market in Ukraine. There was a huge opposition to this reform, manipulation and myths, the desire of politicians and individual businesses to preserve the "gray" market where during this time they stole 5 million hectares of land.

We made this reform for the people. Only Ukrainians will get the right to purchase. There are restrictions on the maximum area owned by one person and preferential terms for Ukrainian farmers. And while politicians unanimously persuaded that we had taken land from Ukrainians, I signed a decree on the transfer of agricultural land from state to communal ownership.

Local self-government will get more than two million hectares of land. These are funds from land use that can be used for the development and well-being of their citizens.

It is clear that the coronavirus crisis did not make an exception for the Ukrainian economy. But all crises end. This one will end as well. And we will come out of it stronger.

We tried to understand what was wrong. What has gone wrong in managing the economy over the years and how to fix it.

The government conducted a full audit of the state. And within two weeks, it will present the results. Finally. But it is already clear today – there is a lot of work ahead, and the priorities are clear.

It is necessary to reduce the share of the state in the economy, to develop public-private partnership.

Our financial resource is limited. Yes, we cannot satisfy everyone. But we must help those who help others. These are projects with a high multiplier that return investment through taxes and create new jobs.

Withdrawn capital tax and zero declaration. Enough of endless discussions on this topic. It is time to put an end to this issue, and I am ready to do so. I instruct the government to take these and other important areas into account.

And most importantly. Ukraine needs a full-fledged development strategy.

Not for two, three or five years. Enough of measuring the development of Ukraine by political terms. We need a clear vision of where and why our economy should move until 2030. I know that such work was carried out by the government.

Therefore, together with the results of the audit of our state, we are waiting for the presentation of economic vectors of Ukraine until 2030.

In fact, you know, there is another area that can and should fill the state budget of Ukraine. This is an effective fight against corruption.

It is written in my program: not the fight against corruption, but the victory over it. But there is a suspicion that law enforcement agencies have not read the sentence to the end and perceive only the first part as a task - "not the fight against corruption".

To be honest - I'm tired of it. We have zero tolerance for corruption, this is confirmed by our partners in the European Union and the United States. But is it enough for the President not to steal so that others do not steal?

People say: spring has come. Where are imprisonments? Believe it or not, it is with these questions and words that cannot be said on television that I begin every meeting with the heads of all our law enforcement agencies.

Every time I remind them that all conditions are created. Please: we have returned criminal liability for illicit enrichment. There is a possibility of confiscation of illegal assets. Full operational independence of NABU and SAP, which has not existed since 2015. The work of the Supreme Anticorruption Court has been launched. We have rebooted NAPC.

They said: only telephone law and lack of political will hinder us. There is political will. There is no telephone law. Opponents say that's not so.

So tell me, where is that telephone? Maybe there will be the result at least in such a way?

Because now there are legislative, operational, material, psychological conditions. And there is no real result yet.

I have no right to interfere in their work, but I have the right to evaluate it. My assessment is unsatisfactory.

But I believe it can and should be corrected. I ask MPs to focus on the Anticorruption Strategy for the next four years. Yes, many strategies have been written over the years. And they do not guarantee the result. But I will not calm down and prove to everyone that Ukraine without corruption is not a fiction, it should be a reality. And I don't care how much heads of law enforcement agencies, ministers, other heads, I need to change for this.

The work of our judges is no less important. Yes, I agree with international partners on the need for judicial reform. But I'm sure no one needs reform just for the word "reform".

Over the years of Ukraine's independence, each new government began to reform the judiciary. As a result, governments, parliaments and presidents in the country change, and the judiciary remains. "Objective, impartial, fair justice" - sounds unfamiliar to citizens, as if words of foreign origin.

We need change. Not differently-phrased opinions from previous versions of judicial reform, but effective solutions. I am waiting for them from the relevant legal commission set up in the President's Office.

We need Ukraine with no corruption and with fair courts. This is what all our citizens want. This is applauded by all our international partners.

By the way, no matter how hard someone persuades and tries, the international coalition continues to support Ukraine, moreover, it is reaching a new level. We have maintained bicameral US support. Ukraine and the United Kingdom have officially become strategic partners. Relations between Ukraine and Turkey have reached an unprecedented level. Canada remains a reliable partner, without exaggeration - an international blood brother for us.

And all experts note that this year's EU-Ukraine Summit and the joint statement virtually for the first time emphasize the partnership between Ukraine and Europe so clearly. They note our successes, in particular, tangible progress in the implementation of the Association Agreement, all the prerequisites for "industrial visa-free regime", the Agreement on a Common Aviation Area with the EU, deepening the integration of Ukrainian markets with European ones. And a clear message: Ukraine's visa-free regime with Europe is safe. No matter what somebody says.

This also applies to cooperation with the IMF, which we continue. As well as with the World Bank and the EBRD.

Today, we are actually rebuilding a constructive dialogue and good neighborly relations with Hungary, Romania and Poland.

Together with Poland and Lithuania, we founded the Lublin Triangle.

It is a platform for political, economic and social interaction.

And I consider one more fact to be an inconspicuous but really important victory in the world arena. At the international level, the phrase "The world is tired of Ukraine" has disappeared. We have given a new meaning to the image of our state. They began to look at Ukraine in a new way. Perceive it as a constructive, reliable, and therefore equal player. As a country that values any support and relies primarily on itself. Because it understands that no one will implement the transformation for us, no one will build a successful country for us.

We became proactive. And in this context, our initiative should be noted - the establishment of the headquarters of the International Office for Countering Disinformation and Propaganda in Kyiv. Ukraine has real experience of such counteraction.

By the way, I invite some of those present in the hall to join in the status of well-known experts in creating fakes and misinformation. Let your experience really serve the state a little bit.

Dear friends! We should admit that the topic of COVID-19 has filled the entire space, but at the same time it is not the only challenge for the medical industry. Facebook, Instagram and my desktop were filled with doctors' requests regarding the second stage of medical reform.

There was a risk of firing 50,000 doctors and closing more than 300 hospitals. Emergency medical care, multidisciplinary hospitals, oncology centers, veterans' hospitals, most children's hospitals, psychiatric and tuberculosis services were under threat.

We did not allow all this. We prevented pediatricians from going abroad leading to a catastrophic increase in infant mortality. Or the increase in the incidence of tuberculosis by a third in the next two years.

I know that the topic of medical reform is hotly debated. I know. But let's face it - this reform has both undeniable advantages and obvious weaknesses. Our task is to keep the positive moments and correct all the mistakes. Both patients and health workers at all levels must be satisfied with the reform.

In addition, I am waiting for a model of insurance medicine from the profile committee and the ministry, which could finally appear in Ukraine.

I would like to note the creation and development of the transplantology system. The network of transplant centers should work for the next two or three years. This will help save many lives of Ukrainians without the need for expensive surgeries somewhere abroad.

It is very important to increase the salaries of health workers. As of September 1, this has been done by 25, 50 and 70 percent. This is just the beginning.

According to the plan of the Ministry of Health, the minimum salary of a doctor in 2021 should be 20-25 thousand hryvnias. Nurse - 15 thousand hryvnias, junior medical staff - up to 10-12 thousand hryvnias. I am convinced that educators and our scientists should be next.

There is one characteristic thing that unites all successful countries today. At the beginning of their path, they all invested in education. All countries. They attached strategic importance to it.

Today we are trying to move in the same direction. Solving the problems that exist in all levels of Ukrainian education in parallel. This is the availability and quality of kindergartens. Increasing the prestige of the profession of a teacher and the salaries. Creation of modern infrastructure - new kindergartens and schools.

We have begun to restore vocational education, which has been destroyed for the last 20 years. Although the country is in dire need of skilled workers today.

We pay special attention to higher education. It must train professionals competitive in the modern world that meet the trends of our and the world economy.

And, of course, science, which is always a driver for innovation and economy. Development of research infrastructure and support of talented Ukrainian scientists should be a priority for the state.

Education and science is a field where the result is not noticeable quickly, but is crucial in the end.

About the sphere where the result, on the contrary, is noticeable quickly enough.

To implement the item of the program "Comfortable Country", we started "Large Construction". And this is not just the name of another state program. Everyone sees that the country is really building big. We "stitch" Ukraine together. Not just with ideas, not just with words. But also with roads and bridges.

This year it is 4 thousand kilometers of roads of state importance. 2 thousand – of local importance. 100 schools, 100 kindergartens, 100 sports facilities. 210 ER departments with the latest medical equipment. When we announced these figures at the beginning of the year, many did not believe. But most of these facilities are ready, and by the end of the year, as we promised, we will have fulfilled this whole plan.

Yes, sometimes there is criticism that we finish some facilities of the previous government. The key word is “we finish”. We do not delay for years, we do not "spray" funds for their construction. We finish. With high quality, by the way, and quickly.

Moreover, we complete the facilities not only of the previous government, but also of their predecessors and predecessors of predecessors. An example is the Ohmatdyt Hospital opened after the summer reconstruction. And Zaporizhzhia Bridge – the most famous long-term construction of the country. Active work is already underway there today, and we will definitely complete this facility. We, not the next politicians.

“Large Construction", despite the long tradition of Ukrainian politics, will not end after the local elections. And it will become even larger. In addition to new roads, schools, kindergartens and hospitals, we will begin the restoration of Ukrainian castles, theaters, museums, cultural and architectural heritage of our Homeland.

We are also preparing a program "Ukraine is a champion!". There should be a large modern sports arena in each region of the country. Each of them will have the name of an outstanding Ukrainian champion.

A comfortable country is impossible without full coverage of high-speed Internet. And modern, reconstructed or new airports in each region. Every day we work on this to make the country as comfortable for citizens as possible. Which they will be happy to travel in, which will be visited by millions of tourists from around the world.

Fellow Ukrainians! You can look forever at three things. How the fire burns, how the water flows and how politicians talk about the problems in Ukraine. But the problems will not disappear due to our words. We need to work.

I know that there are a huge number of important and problematic issues for the country that we have not talked about today. If I touched upon each of them, this message would last until 2024 and the next presidential elections.

Therefore, fewer words. I also know about all the points of my program that have not been fulfilled yet. I know. They show me the way every day. They give me energy to make my dream come true. I want to pass this program to the next President of Ukraine, where each item will be marked with a tick as completed. And to tell you sincerely: Fellow Ukrainians! I am not ashamed. This is a dream.

Finally. Local elections will be held in Ukraine on October 25. Very important. Not for political parties. For you, dear citizens of Ukraine. For the development and well-being of your cities, villages, your communities. On this day I will ask you 5 questions. And I will wait for the answer. And today I will ask important, frank questions to myself.

And I will answer them right away.

Did I think a year ago that changing the country for the better would be so difficult?


Would I have changed my mind if I had known about it then?


Will we succeed?


Glory to Ukraine!


Address by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Verkhovna Rada on the Internal and External Situation of Ukraine

20 October 2020 - 12:35