President Petro Poroshenko stresses that Russia will not retreat from the aggressive intentions towards Ukraine and will continue to test the world for strength. That is why our state will continue to strengthen the Ukrainian army with modern weapons and military equipment.
During the solemn ceremony of transferring military equipment to the personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Head of State reminded that on this day in 1991, more than 90% of Ukrainians had confirmed the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine and made a historic choice - the construction of a free, sovereign, European Ukraine.
At the same time, the President said that Russia wants to turn the wheel of history back in the past. "In general, around the territory of Ukraine, along the state border, in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea there is a ground group with a total of more than 80 thousand servicemen, about 1400 artillery systems and MLRS, 900 tanks, 2300 armored combat vehicles, more than 500 planes and 300 helicopters," he stressed.
The Head of State added: "In the waters of the Black Sea, Azov Sea, Aegean Sea more than 80 ships and 8 submarines carry out missions, including 23 attack ships and 6 attack submarines".
Petro Poroshenko emphasized: "The recent act of aggression by the Russian Federation against the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Kerch Strait is directed, I emphasize this separately, not only against Ukraine. The Kremlin continues to challenge the global order - would the world agree on the transformation of the Azov Sea, and then the Black Sea into the "Russian lake”.
He stressed that Russia represents a "colossal threat" and Ukraine, together with its allies, is looking for a proper political and diplomatic response to this threat. "But our internal correct answer is the strengthening of the Ukrainian army by modern means of arms and military equipment, in the first place by means of air defense: anti-aircraft missile complexes and fighter planes," the President said.
The Head of State once again stressed that in response to the threat of expanding Russian aggression, martial law was introduced in ten regions of Ukraine. "I emphasize that this preventive step in no way aims at restricting the constitutional rights and obligations of citizens, it does not affect any freedoms. It expands the capabilities of the Armed Forces and the entire security sector to respond quickly to the threats that grow as a snowball," he said.
According to the Head of State, the enhancement of the protection of the state border with the Russian Federation and the administrative border with Crimea is now under way. Orders have been given to switch the defense industry complex to a special mode of work.
"We are increasing the protection and defense of critical infrastructure objects: nuclear and hydroelectric power plants, objects of the chemical industry, ports of Ukraine in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. All necessary measures will be taken to strengthen air defense, which covers important state facilities, industrial districts, administrative centers and troops from air strikes," the President said.
In addition, according to him, the objects of a single state civil defense system and all its components are fully prepared. There will also be military exercises and redeployment of military units in strict accordance with the Strategic Plan for the use of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In the areas where martial law was declared, training sessions with reservists and territorial defense began.
"Martial law is a preventive measure. It is introduced for the first time in the latest Ukrainian history and only for 30 days. This time will be used to reduce our threats, to strengthen our defense and the ability to protect citizens from the attack of the enemy. It should not be unexpected anymore. We will be able to confine ourselves to the listed measures and I hope, it will not be necessary to extend it," the Head of State once again noted.
The President stressed that Ukraine is moving its way. "Our way to the European Union and to full-scale membership of NATO, to the strengthening of independence and high standards of security, economy and social protection. No one can stop us because Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state, and Ukraine has patriotic, courageous, well-trained and armed AFU. Every day we confirm our independence. Free independent European Ukraine will be established," he summed up.