The veteran community will become one of the largest in Ukraine - the Head of State took part in the forum of veterans and volunteers
President of Ukraine
22 August 2022 - 16:03
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in the "Defenders. Roll Call" forum , which takes place in the framework of the 5th International Volunteer and Veteran Forum "Ukraine Is Where We Are", and presented state awards to the defenders of our state.
"My address today is, of course, primarily about veterans. But it is not only for veterans. Not only for our warriors and all those who dedicate their lives to serving Ukraine with weapons in their hands. This appeal of mine is for all our people. And it is about the fact that the veterans' cause has truly become national. It is a matter of both the state and our society," he said during his speech to the participants of the event.
According to the President, at the beginning of this year, before the full-scale Russian invasion, there were about 500,000 combatants in Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that today the official launch of the website will take place in the framework of the forum, thanks to which everyone will be able to get an idea of the scale of the veteran community in the country.
"Now about a million people are defending Ukraine in the Armed Forces and in other formations that oppose the occupiers. Who are they, this million? What is it like to fight with Russian terrorists until our victory? This means that everyone in Ukraine will have veteran relatives, or veteran friends, or veteran colleagues, or veteran acquaintances. This means that the veteran community will become one of the largest in the country. And this means that appropriate changes are needed that reflect this new reality in the state policy regarding veterans, in the public perception of veterans and in all our economic players," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.
The President emphasized the importance of unconditional respect for veterans at all levels of public life in Ukraine. And this respect should be embodied not in words, but in quite practical things.
The participants of the forum honored the memory of the fallen defenders with a moment of silence.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy presented the Gold Star Orders to the members of the families of the fallen Ukrainian defenders, who were awarded this title posthumously.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also presented the award of the President of Ukraine "Cross of Combat Merit".
"On February 24, every Ukrainian made perhaps the most important choice in his life. And the choice of millions of people in favor of Ukraine led to the fact that our state did what almost no one in the world expected from it. Because they frankly underestimated Ukrainians, they didn't know all of you, our veterans, they didn't know that Ukraine is a country of bravery, a country of heroes, a country of people who immediately united to protect Ukrainian freedom and will never give up freedom to anyone," the President emphasized.
The Head of State thanked everyone who helps the veteran community and the defense forces of our country, and expressed belief in the victory of Ukraine.
The forum was also attended by: Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhny, parliamentarians and government officials.
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