President of Ukraine

Ukraine's success in the battle for the Black Sea is what will be in history textbooks – President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's address

31 October 2023 - 22:24

Ukraine's success in the battle for the Black Sea is what will be in history textbooks – President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's address

I wish you good health, dear Ukrainians!

Today, there have been several important events.

Firstly, a meeting of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief's Staff. Today is the International Black Sea Action Day, a special day dedicated to our region and our shared waters with our partners. At the Staff meeting, the first issue discussed was the operation of our export corridors, the defense of southern Ukraine – our cities, our ports – against Russian attacks. All of this matters not only to our state, not only to Ukraine's security but much more broadly. During the full-scale war, we proved that when Ukraine, together with its partners, restores security to the Black Sea, the world gains dividends of greater security for other regions. This ranges from food security to social security because the stability of the food market influences the political stability of many countries in the complicated African and Asian regions. It is very important that due to Ukrainian courage, we practically push the Russian fleet out of the eastern part of the Black Sea – Russia cannot use our sea to extend its aggression to other parts of the world, as it did with Syria. When Russia caused a humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, using the Black Sea as its base, and later our Crimea as a staging ground for Russian military operations. Now, the situation has changed. Fundamentally changed. And when we add even more security to the Black Sea, Russia will lose any opportunity to dominate this area and spread its influence and destructiveness to other countries. The more protection we have along our coastline and in our sea, the more protection there is in the world.

Today, at the Staff meeting, reports were presented by the commander of the Navy, the Defense Intelligence Chief, and the Chief of the Security Service of Ukraine regarding our actions in the south and at sea. The Commander-in-Chief and the commanders of the directions also reported. I am grateful to all our people involved in this work for making Ukraine stronger in the respective directions. Of course, we analyzed the events on the frontlines – in all key points. Avdiyivka, Maryinka, Kupiansk, Lyman sector, the south – guys, thank you for today! There were reports from the Minister of Defense and the Minister for Strategic Industries on ammunition and equipment at the Staff meeting – we are increasing our production and preparing new defense packages from our partners.

Today, I held a special ceremony to award state honors to our soldiers who strengthen Ukrainian power in the battle at sea. The servicemen of the Navy and border guards who defend our waters. Soldiers of the Defense Intelligence and the Security Service. Engineers who create our new weapons – our naval drones – and ensure their functioning. These are all guys who cannot be shown in public, and their names cannot be tied to specific events. For now, as long as the war continues. But they truly deserve the gratitude of the state and the people. I thanked them on behalf of all Ukrainians.

I held a preparatory meeting regarding our work with the European Union. One of Ukraine's key political goals by the end of this year is our readiness to begin negotiations on EU membership. All levels of the state must be prepared for this, and they will be. We expect a similar readiness from European institutions – we clearly understand the priorities, and we are preparing our steps accordingly.

I also spoke with Prime Minister of Bulgaria Denkov about everything that is relevant to this day, this time for Ukraine. I'm thankful to Bulgaria for their support of our European Union integration and for our highly productive partnership, especially in the Black Sea – in trade and security. It's important that the agreements we reached during my visit to Bulgaria are fully implemented. We also discussed our additional security options.

The modern world quickly gets accustomed to success. When full-scale aggression began, many around the world expected Ukraine to not withstand. Now, the incredible things our people, our soldiers, are doing are perceived as a given. Ukraine's success in the battle for the Black Sea is what will be in history textbooks, though it's not discussed as often now. But... Whatever may be, we must do our part – protect our country, Ukrainian independence, our lives, our culture, Ukrainian freedom. And we will protect it!

I thank everyone in the world who is helping Ukraine. Glory to every one of our soldiers! Glory to all those who never retreat, never burn out, who believe in Ukraine just as they did on February 24, and who continue to fight for Ukraine, those who care for Ukraine. Adding strength to our state every day – that's what's needed.

Glory to Ukraine!