And today I would like to address the residents of Nikopol, Marhanets, Enerhodar, Kryvy Rih, Zaporizhzhia and all our other cities and communities of Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia regions.
The occupiers are trying to intimidate people in an extremely cynical way, using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. They actually hide behind the plant to fire at Nikopol and Marhanets. They arrange constant provocations with shelling of the territory of the nuclear power plant and try to bring their additional forces in this direction to blackmail our state and the entire free world even more.
If someone over there in Russia thinks that it can give them something, then they are wrong. Russian blackmail only mobilizes even more global efforts to confront terror. Every day of the stay of the Russian contingent on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and in the neighboring regions of our country increases the radiation threat to Europe so much that even at the peak moments of the confrontation during the Cold War, this did not happen.
Of course, there should be a robust response to this. Ukrainian diplomats and representatives of partner states will do everything to ensure that the new sanctions against Russia necessarily block the Russian nuclear industry.
And absolutely all officials of the terrorist state, as well as those who help them in this blackmail operation with the nuclear power plant, must be tried by an international court. It will definitely be. And every Russian soldier who either shoots at the plant, or shoots under the cover of the plant, must understand that he is becoming a special target for our intelligence, for our secret service, for our army.
I am especially grateful to everyone who defends this direction, who withstands the pressure of Russian terrorists and protects Ukraine and the world from the nuclear threat created by the occupiers. I am grateful to all our energy workers who support the stable operation of the energy system of Ukraine and the Zaporizhzhia plant itself.
And we are doing everything possible to restore peace and security to this part of our state, and to all other cities and other regions of our beautiful Ukraine.
Fierce fighting continues in Donbas. The hottest points of the front in this direction remain unchanged – Avdiyivka, Maryinka, Pisky, Bakhmut and the entire relevant area. Russia sent there a simply colossal amount of its military resources – artillery, equipment, people. All our defenders there are simply heroes.
Ukrainian defense is strong in Kharkiv region, and the invaders' attempts to attack all the time fail.
The struggle in the south of the country gives good news about the destruction of the forces and means of the Russian army. We do not lose a single day – we reduce the potential of the occupiers.
It is very important that the export grain initiative gives results. Since the start of its implementation, a total of 16 vessels with grain for seven countries on three continents have left Ukrainian ports. These are Europe, Asia, Africa. Almost half a million tonnes of agricultural products were on board: corn, wheat, sunflower oil, soybeans and other goods absolutely necessary for the global market.
This has already made it possible to reduce the severity of the food crisis, and has given some hope of peace to the countries that consume our agricultural products. And in the long run, it can help to completely remove the food crisis from the global agenda. Of course, if the partners ensure the implementation of the security part of the initiative and prevent Russian provocations and terror at sea or against our ports.
The first vessel to be loaded within the framework of the UN World Food Program has already arrived. It is the supply of grain, in particular for Ethiopia, where the situation with hunger is particularly severe. Now the vessel is being prepared for departure from the Pivdenny port.
For Ukraine, this has significant benefits. In less than two weeks, three of our ports – Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdenny – managed to export such a volume, which is equal to the entire agricultural export by road for July and more than two-thirds of the export by rail for the past month.
I want to emphasize once again: these are jobs for our people, these are the funds needed for our sowing season next year, and these are the revenues of our state budget.
Increasing economic activity is a necessary element of the path to victory.
I am grateful to everyone who defends our country!
Grateful to everyone in the partner countries who help fight against terror!
Glory to Ukraine!