President Volodymyr Zelenskyy officially introduced the newly appointed Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov to the leadership of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the heads of relevant units.
The Head of State noted that today the Ministry of Defense has a new agency, as it is responsible for coordinating the entire defense sector.
"The strategic role of the Ministry and its real coordinating influence should be obvious to our society. The results of such work should obviously strengthen our ability to liberate Ukrainian land," he emphasized.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that the key priority of the Ukrainian defense forces is the Ukrainian warrior. And if specific changes in the activities of the defense forces are required for their benefit and strength, they must be immediate everywhere - from bureaucratic procedures that take up the time and energy of our warriors to the provision of Ukrainian defenders and units.
“Everything that can be digitized should be digitized. Every bureaucratic procedure that can be canceled should be canceled. Every item that can save the lives and health of warriors must be found and supplied to the Ukrainian army. We need a new philosophy of treatment of Ukrainian warriors: people are not expendable. Their time and energy are the value of the state,” he said.
The President noted that Ukraine now also needs the highest possible level of international coordination, which means not only developing the already established formats of international cooperation, but also organizing new regional and thematic coalitions.
At the same time, the Head of State reminded that a specific strategic task of Ukraine is full integration into NATO.
"Ukraine is already a de facto member of NATO. And at least on our part, we have to do everything to make sure that we are also a de jure member of NATO. It is not easy, but we must take the appropriate steps," he emphasized.
Also, according to the President, every positive example of combat brigades in the Ukrainian army should be scaled up to absolutely all units. What works for some units and strengthens Ukraine should be extended to others.
"The Ukrainian Defense Forces have the world's largest experience of successful defense in modern warfare. Everything that provides such defense should work for every Ukrainian warrior, for our state as a whole, for the security of our partners. This must be done purposefully," the Head of State is convinced.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized the need for respectful, clear and timely communication with the families of warriors, including the families of the fallen defenders of Ukraine.
"When we talked to different brigades, different warriors, we often saw people receiving awards while they were still alive. And the family received the award after the death of the warrior. This is absolutely unfair, and we need to resolve this issue. It's not a trifle, it's a detail of respect," he explained.
The President emphasized that the continuation of a full-scale war requires a new level of transparency, as Ukrainian warriors and society must trust the entire defense sector.
"Today, society is in a very difficult emotional situation. Maximum transparency and maximum trust are the key to the strength of the entire sector. And this will be one of the priorities of the Minister," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.
The President urged the new head of the Defense Ministry to take quick concrete steps towards deep reform of the institution.
"The war is ongoing, and trust is what can strengthen the Ministry. New policy of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. Headed by a new Minister of Defense," the President is convinced.
"Please take care of the warriors. Glory to Ukraine!" the Head of State added.
For his part, Rustem Umerov noted that he was honored to become Defense Minister at such a historic time for the country.
"I am grateful to the President of Ukraine for his trust. Ukraine will regain what belongs to it, and this time every meter and every centimeter of our land will be under the Ukrainian flag," he said.
The minister emphasized that his ministry should become the main institution for coordinating the defense forces, and all its activities should be aimed at strengthening the Ukrainian military and providing them with everything they need.
According to Rustem Umerov, in the area of international cooperation, it is necessary to create new partnerships, expand the geography of allies, and form new regional and thematic alliances.
The new defense minister named zero tolerance for corruption, digitalization, as well as harmonization of all procurement procedures with NATO international standards, as his other priorities.
The minister also emphasized the need to develop Ukrainian defense production, which the Defense Ministry will support in every way possible.
"Our plan is victory. We must do everything to bring it closer as soon as possible," Rustem Umerov summarized.