This day in our state has a double meaning. This is Science Day. And Europe Day.
I congratulate our scientists, who, despite all the difficulties, nevertheless work to ensure that Ukraine preserves and develops its scientific potential.
Of course, during a full-scale war, all the forces of society and the state can be aimed only at protection. And these are significant limitations for science, for the cultural sphere, for other fundamental parts of public life. But such is the time we live in. We are doing everything we can to return to the rules of peacetime as soon as possible.
I would also like to express my gratitude to all those who are working to make Ukraine a part of a united Europe. To all our diplomats, to all our civil servants who now have a few weeks to complete the task that other countries have been overcoming for years when joining the European Union.
And I want to emphasize that our European integration path is not just about politics. It's about quality of life. And about the fact that Ukrainians perceive the values of life in the same way as the vast majority of Europeans.
I held talks with the Prime Minister of Portugal in Kyiv today. I thanked him for all the support that Portugal is currently providing to Ukraine. This is defense, political and humanitarian support. I am grateful for the warm treatment of our people who have taken refuge in Portugal.
Further sanctions against the Russian Federation were discussed with the Prime Minister. And also - post-war reconstruction of our state. Portugal is ready to join the reconstruction of Ukraine, the reconstruction of Ukrainian schools and kindergartens. And I want to remind you that during the full-scale war, the Russian army has already destroyed 1873 educational institutions. This is a colossal scale of losses.
But when a united Europe, American leadership and the whole free world stand with you, you can overcome that as well.
I am grateful to President Biden for the immediate signing of the $ 40 billion support package for Ukraine approved by the US Congress. This is a historic contribution to the protection of freedom in Europe.
I also spoke today with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The main focus was on the situation on the battlefield and how Ukraine's victory can be brought closer. We agreed that the sixth package of sanctions against Russia should be accelerated. I am grateful for Italy's full support on our path to the European Union.
The military situation has not changed significantly today. But it was really hard. Actually, the fact that we are able to say this on the 87th day of a full-scale war against Russia is good news.
Russia has sent virtually all its resources to destroy us. In the Russian regions, it is openly said that their so-called "special operation" is the cause of the economic downturn - in particular, in the industries such as construction and many others. And also the reason for the impoverishment of people, which may be even greater than in the 1990s.
Rising prices, devaluation of income, destruction of all the economic potential that has been created in Russia since the 2000s - all this does not stop the invaders yet. But the colossal costs of the war still do not help them. And will not help.
The situation in Donbas is extremely difficult. As in previous days, the Russian army is trying to attack Slovyansk and Severodonetsk.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are deterring this offensive. Every day that our defenders take away from these offensive plans of Russia, disrupting them, is a concrete contribution to the approach of the main day. The desired day that we are all looking forward to and fighting for. Victory Day.
And no Russian strikes - neither by missiles in the Rivne region, nor by artillery in the Kharkiv or Sumy region, nor by all possible weapons in Donbas - will give Russia any result.
Today I signed a decree on awarding our heroes. 215 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were awarded state awards. 30 of them posthumously.
Almost every day I have such decrees on my desk. On awarding our defenders. On conferring the title of Hero of Ukraine. And this reflects the severity of the military situation. Unfortunately, the war continues. The war is not over. We still need to fight and move towards victory.
Maybe someone in the rear cities thinks that one can forget about the war. And become carefree. Or even careless. It isn’t so. Every day Ukrainians die for our independence. Every day!
And each and every one of us must take care of our defense on a daily basis. With anything they can. In a way they can.
Eternal glory to all who stood up for Ukraine!
Eternal memory to everyone who gave lives for our state!
Glory to Ukraine!