President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in the unveiling of a monument to the legendary Ukrainian astronaut, Hero of Ukraine Leonid Kadeniuk.
The monument was unveiled at the Baikove Cemetery on December 5, the 23rd anniversary of Leonid Kadeniuk's return from space to Earth on Space Shuttle Columbia.
The Head of State initiated the acceleration of the creation of a monument to the first Ukrainian astronaut who died in January 2018. As it could take years to carry out the work at public expense through bureaucratic procedures, a charity fund was established, to which anyone could join. The sketch of the monument was chosen by the astronaut's family.
"Leonid Kadeniuk has done a lot for Ukraine, and Ukraine must do at least something for him. I believe that we did everything in time, because on January 28 Leonid Kadeniuk would have turned 70, and people will have a place to come and honor his memory," the President stressed.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also noted that since Leonid Kadeniuk's flight into space, Ukraine has not had such major breakthroughs in the aerospace industry.
"Ukraine must do everything to restore this industry. And without people like Kadeniuk, this is impossible. And they can't just appear - history must be honored. This is the duty of the state," he said.
After the ceremony, the President talked to Leonid Kadeniuk's family. In particular, Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised the astronaut’s wife, Vira Kadeniuk, to help resolve the issue of increasing financial support for his family from the state.