On the Day of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy observed modern weapons and military equipment used by the Ukrainian defenders of the sky, talked to the warriors, and took part in the cancellation of the "Fighters of Evil" postage stamp set.
The Head of State heard a report on the operation and capabilities of Patriot and IRIS-T systems received by Ukraine from its partners.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy observed, in particular, a Su-25 attack aircraft, a Su-24M bomber, Su-27 and MiG-29 fighter jets with the missiles they use. According to Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, these aircraft have been modernized to use weapons provided by partners, including ZUNI air-to-surface missiles, Storm Shadow missiles, and AGM HARM anti-radiation missiles.
The President was also shown the operation of a simulator provided to Ukraine by the Czech Republic to train pilots to operate Western-style F-16 aircraft. Using this simulator, the Ukrainian servicemen are currently studying the features of modern equipment and its capabilities. Volodymyr Zelenskyy tested the complex's operation in practice and hit one of the virtual targets, a Tu-95.
During the conversation with the Head of State, the Air Force servicemen presented him with a pilot's helmet as a symbol of faith that Ukraine will soon receive F-16 fighters from its partners to help defeat Russian invaders and liberate all Ukrainian lands.
"On behalf of the aircrew of the Air Force of Ukraine, let me present you with a symbol of invincibility and future fight for our beloved Ukraine. As President, you are defending our country together with the Armed Forces. A knight now has a shield - air defense. We would like to present you with a helmet, because a knight must have a helmet. To be complete, a knight needs a sword - an aircraft to defeat the air and ground enemy," said one of the Air Force servicemen and added that this helmet has the signatures of the Air Force servicemen who received the title of Hero of Ukraine and are full holders of the Order “For Courage” and the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi.
The President highly appreciated the gift and noted that he would keep working to ensure that Ukraine receives F-16 jets.
In addition, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhny and Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk took part in the cancellation of the "Fighters of Evil" stamp and envelope issued by Ukrposhta on the occasion of the Air Force Day.
"Stamps are prophetic. When we issue something, it is bound to happen. That is why today, in honor of the Air Force, hoping that we will soon have F-16s, we issued such a stamp. And now we are going to have a ceremonial cancellation with a special postmark on the Air Force Day," said Director General of Ukrposhta Ihor Smilyanskyi, and invited the Head of State to be the first to cancel the special stamp.
The stamp depicts the Ukrainian army destroying the symbol of the "evil empire" by grinding it on an "annihilation" grater. The knight wearing a trident helmet on the envelope represents the nobility, strength and honor of the Ukrainian army defending its homeland.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Valerii Zaluzhny, Oleksiy Reznikov and Mykola Oleshchuk cancelled the stamps and left their signatures on each of the four cancelled copies of the "Fighters of Evil" set.