Having returned from a visit abroad, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the frontline positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Vuhledar – Maryinka defense area in the Donetsk region on the occasion of the Day of the Marines.
The Supreme Commander-in-Chief listened to the report by Lieutenant General Yuriy Sodol, Commander of the Marines and the Donetsk Operational Tactical Group, on the current situation in the designated area of the frontline.
The President spoke to the Ukrainian warriors and took part in the festivities.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that the Marines are a brotherhood of strong and resilient fighters loyal to their beliefs and vocation, who always demonstrate speed, determination and results.
According to the Head of State, since the beginning of the Russian aggression, military units of the Marines have been reliably holding defense in the most critical areas of the front, professionally and confidently destroying the invaders.
"Every day on the battlefield, the Ukrainian Marines prove that they are a powerful force that destroys the enemy, liberates Ukrainian lands, and performs the most difficult tasks in the most difficult conditions. And we need more of this force. That is why from today we are significantly increasing the potential of the Marines and creating the Marine Corps," the President said.
According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, new brigades will be formed and provided with modern equipment and weapons.
The President also presented state awards. The Head of State awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine and presented the Order of the Gold Star to Colonel Yuriy Andriyenko and Colonel Mykola Palas for personal courage and heroism in the defense of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, selfless service to the Ukrainian people.
For personal courage and selfless actions in the defense of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded the warriors with the Orders of Bohdan Khmelnytsky of the I, II and III degrees, the Orders "For Courage" of the II and III degrees, the Orders of Princess Olga of the III degree and the Order of Danylo Halytskyi.
In addition, in order to recognize the high professionalism, combat merit, courage and bravery of the personnel of military units, the Head of State presented the Presidential Award "For Courage and Bravery" to the Marine Command of the Military-Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the 35th separate marine brigade named after Rear Admiral Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi and its units: the 18th separate marine battalion and the 137th separate marine battalion, as well as the 406th separate artillery brigade named after Lieutenant General Oleksiy Almazov and the 140th separate reconnaissance battalion.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also conferred the rank of Brigadier General to Colonel Oleksiy Androsov, Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the Ukrainian Marines of the Military-Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
At the end of the event, the Marines presented the President with their flag, a commemorative plaque and chevrons of all marine units.