During a working trip to the east of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in ceremonial events on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which took place on Svobody Square in Kharkiv.
"We restored Ukraine's independence 30 years ago. 30 years ago, forces were born to protect it. This is the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Today is their day. Today is their professional holiday. Today is the 30th anniversary of the Armed Forces of Ukraine! From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of Ukraine, I congratulate you and us on this great day," the President said.
Those present honored the memory of all the fallen defenders of Ukraine with a moment of silence.
According to the President, the fallen soldiers are honored throughout the great, free, independent and peaceful Ukraine.
"All this is due to our fighters and all types and kinds of troops, about whom we feel nothing but pride, pride and once again pride," he said.
The Head of State noted that serial production and supply to the Armed Forces of the Neptune missile complex has begun in Ukraine for the first time. The Ukrainian army received Javelin anti-tank missile systems and counter-battery systems. A comprehensive missile program was also launched for the first time.
"We are building our navy. We have signed an agreement with the United Kingdom worth more than 60 billion hryvnias for the construction of our missile boats, naval bases, supply of minesweepers and equipment with anti-ship missile systems. Together with Turkey, we are building an Ada-class corvette. And today in Odesa the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will receive two patrol boats of the "Island" type - Fastiv and Sumy boats,” said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The President stressed that today he is in the Kharkiv region, where a terrible tragedy happened a year ago - the crash of an An-26 military aircraft near the city of Chuhuiv.
"We lost 26 young cadets and experienced servicemen of Kharkiv National Air Force University. It was on this square that we all said goodbye to them, all of Ukraine. May the memory of them live forever," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
According to him, for the first time in the history of Ukraine a contract was signed for the production and supply of three new An-178 military transport aircraft to the Air Force. The Leleka and Bayraktar unmanned aerial vehicles have also been taken into service.
"We are starting the construction of a Ukrainian plant for the production of modern military drones in Ukraine. Today, at the Ozerny airfield in the Zhytomyr region, the Air Force received a Mi-8 helicopter and L-39, Su-27 and An-26 aircraft,” the President said.
The Head of State also said that Ukraine, together with Canada, had launched a space project to create a spaceport for a Ukrainian-made Cyclone launch vehicle. Construction of a launch pad has already begun on Canada's Atlantic coast.
In addition, the Ukrainian people are proud of the military intelligence, which saved about a thousand people in the most dangerous situation during the events in Afghanistan. Ukraine is proud of the Special Operations Forces, Assault Troops and Cyber Troops, as well as military chaplains.
"We are proud of our female defenders! Today more than 32,000 women and girls serve in the Armed Forces! Twice as much as in 2014. And they are not "adornment", they do not “play supporting roles", they are real, brave and courageous fighters. More than 16,000 of them are participants in hostilities. Thousands of women hold officer ranks, command divisions and platoons, and perform combat missions in the JFO area," the President said.
Also, according to the President, the Ukrainian people are proud of their veterans, and next year, for the first time since 2014, the queue for apartments for all veterans of the war in the east will be completely closed.
"Immediately after that, we will begin the same process for all our servicemen. We are proud of them all," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
"We are proud of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Of all those who liberated Mariupol, Slovyansk, Kramatorsk. Of all those who brought peace to Avdiivka, Bakhmut and Schastia. Of all those who will definitely bring peace to Donetsk. Of all who will bring peace to Luhansk. Of all who will bring peace to Crimea. We sincerely congratulate our defenders! We truly thank our soldiers! We bow low to our warriors! Today. Tomorrow. And every day! Happy Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," Volodymyr Zelenskyy summed up.