President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in the events dedicated to the Day of the Defender of Ukraine and handed over state awards to the military during his working trip to the Odesa region.
Addressing the military servicemen and veterans of ATO / JFO in Odesa, the Head of State emphasized that the Day of the Defender of Ukraine brings together professional military, volunteers, doctors, activists and journalists who work in the combat zone.
“Without exaggeration: this is our national holiday. And all those whom I have named are real heroes of Ukraine,” he said.
The President stressed that these heroes have been fighting for peace in the Ukrainian state for the past five years. “Since 2014, they have been making the most valuable gifts to Ukraine and its citizens risking their lives every day – a peaceful sky in Ukrainian cities and villages, the existence of our state, its sovereignty and independence. Unfortunately, you have to pay a terrible and painful price for all this. These are thousands of lives of our brothers, thousands of lives of Ukrainians,” he noted.
Also, the Head of State once again put down all rumors about the repeal of benefits to veterans of the Donbas war. “The State will continue to fulfill its social obligations to those to whom it owes its existence, ” the President stressed.
On behalf of the entire Ukrainian people, Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked everyone for their high professionalism, heroism, invincibility, for their courageous and heroic performance of tasks aimed at protecting Ukraine.
The President and the participants honored the memory of the fallen defenders with a moment of silence.
After that, the Head of State handed over the state awards for personal courage and dedication during combat, high professionalism and discharge of functions.
“Every time it is a very important moment for me because different people, heroes come to me when there is an awarding. But they are all united by what they say: “I serve the people of Ukraine! ” And we are grateful to you for that,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned.