During a working trip to Donetsk region, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy presented state awards to Ukrainian defenders who are repelling the enemy's invasion as part of the Donetsk operational and tactical group.
In particular, Colonel Viktor Sikoza, commander of the 36th separate marine brigade of the Marine Corps Command of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, received the Gold Star Order from Volodymyr Zelenskyy and was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.
The officer has been involved in the defense of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity since March 2014, performed combat missions during the Joint Forces Operation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and since February 25, 2022, has been participating in repelling a full-scale Russian invasion. In particular, his unit defended Mariupol.
In April 2022, Viktor Sikoza was appointed commander of the 36th separate marine brigade. Under his leadership, the brigade performed combat missions in the Kherson sector, and then moved to the operational subordination of the commander of the Donetsk operational and tactical group. On numerous occasions, the colonel personally led the brigade's units during counteroffensives.
The President also awarded the Orders of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi of the I-III degrees, "For Courage" of the III degree and the Order of Princess Olga of the III degree to defenders who showed personal courage and selflessly defended the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
"Powerful people who defend our country. Dear officers, soldiers, and everyone who defends the life of Ukraine at the risk of their lives. I want to greet you all today, to thank you, to shake hands. I want to thank your parents for what you do, for the fact that the state has you," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during the award ceremony.
The Head of State wished the servicemen health and soonest victory.
"I am proud that we have such ordinary, yet heroic people in our country. Thanks to you, Ukraine will definitely remain here. And this is important for all future generations. Glory to Ukraine!" the President added.