Editor’s note: The following is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s nightly address to the nation as it appears in English on the presidential website:
I wish you health, Ukrainians!
We finally have the result, the first result of our evacuation operation from Azovstal in Mariupol, which we have been organizing for a very long time. It took a lot of effort, long negotiations and various mediations.
Today 156 people arrived in Zaporizhzhia. Women and children. They have been in shelters for more than two months. Just imagine! For example, a child is six months old, two of which are underground, fleeing bombs and shelling. Finally, these people are completely safe. They will get help.
And I am grateful to all those on whom the rescue of these people depended. Who agreed and who helped. I am grateful to everyone who ensured the physical transportation of people through the humanitarian corridor.
Of course, we will continue to do everything to get all our people out of Mariupol and Azovstal. It’s difficult. But we need everyone who stays there: civilians and military. There was not a day when we did not address this issue, when our people did not try to solve this issue.
Yes, we managed to achieve a ceasefire for almost three days in order to make the humanitarian corridor work.
Currently, Russian troops are not adhering to the agreements. They continue massive strikes at Azovstal. They are trying to storm the complex. But I have been told many times that no one can be saved. That it is impossible. And today 156 people are in Zaporizhzhia. This is not a victory yet, but this is already a result. And I believe that there is a chance to save our other people.
Apparently, the Russian military has reacted extremely nervously to our success today. Various Ukrainian cities have once again become targets for Russian missiles and Russian strikes. Lviv, Vinnytsia, Kyiv region, Dnipropetrovsk region, Odesa, Kharkiv region – such a scale of today’s shelling clearly does not indicate that Russia has any special military purpose. Strike at Zakarpattia? What exactly can it give Russia? They are trying to vent their powerlessness. Because they can’t beat Ukraine.
But they can – so far – burn children’s attractions in Gorky Park in Kharkiv or destroy a bridge. Or a grain warehouse or a house with people.
The more such strikes, the farther Russia is from civilization. From what is called civilizedness.
Today we also have another tragic news. A terrible road accident took place in the Rivne region. A bus, a car and a fuel truck collided. As of this time, 17 people died. But there may be more casualties.
My sincere condolences to all those who lost their loved ones. I commissioned to provide all the necessary assistance to the victims.
I am grateful to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the great friend of Ukraine, Boris Johnson, for his support of Ukraine and our defenders. Today Boris addressed our parliament and our people. These were very important words, warm, friendly, powerful. This is a very sincere gesture. I am also grateful to Britain for the new package of support for our country, which the Prime Minister announced today.
I also addressed the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine today. For the first time during a full-scale war. I emphasized the main thing – and the main thing not only for me, but also for the whole of Ukraine. I am sure we must maintain maximum unity. Because our success depends on unity. Not only political success, but also the defense of the state, the strength of our people, our society.
I continued the very useful practice of addressing the parliaments of our partner countries. Today (addressed – ed.) the Parliament and the people of Albania. Thanked for the support, including defensive support. Noted the cordiality with which the people of Albania support our people. Other such addresses are also planned.
I also spoke with representatives of the largest global companies – in the CEO Wall Street Journal club (this is a very influential club. Three trillion dollars is the total turnover of companies whose leaders are in this club). About how to put pressure on Russia to end the war. About how to rebuild Ukraine after the war together. About what the post-war model of the Ukrainian economy can be. I believe that such economic diplomacy is one of our most important tasks.
I spoke today with Polish President Andrzej Duda. I congratulated him and the entire Polish people on the national holiday – the Constitution Day of Poland. We discussed further cooperation, concrete steps and support for our defense.
I informed him about the current situation in the areas of hostilities. About what is happening in Mariupol. About the evacuation of Ukrainians. And about what else we can do together to help protect our state and our common freedom – freedom of Ukrainians and Poles, all Europeans.
Traditionally, before delivering the address, I signed decrees awarding our heroes. 185 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were awarded state awards, two of them posthumously. Two more of our defenders were awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.
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