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.
Unbreakable people of the bravest country!
All our defenders!
Today, the 85th day of our defense, will be remembered for sure.
I am grateful to the United States for approving a new $ 40 billion package of support for Ukraine and democracy in our region. Today, this package was passed by the US Senate. It is a manifestation of strong leadership and a necessary contribution to our common defense of freedom.
A meeting of finance ministers, heads of G7 central banks and representatives of international donors also took place in Germany.
I always say frankly: the monthly budget deficit in Ukraine now is $ 5 billion. And to endure the war for freedom, we need quick and sufficient financial support.
And it’s not just expenditures or a gift from partners. This is their contribution to their own security.
Because the defense of Ukraine also means their defense from new wars and crises that Russia may provoke. If it succeeds in the war against Ukraine. That is why we must all work together to ensure that there is no success for Russia in its aggression against our state. Neither military, nor economic, nor any other.
I spoke today with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. I personally thanked her for the macro-financial assistance in the amount of 9 billion euros, this package was proposed the day before.
I also spoke with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. On economic issues, in particular on the export of our agricultural products and fuel imports. And also about the situation in the areas of hostilities and the evacuation of our heroes from Azovstal. I am doing my best to keep the most influential international forces informed and, as much as possible, involved in rescuing our military.
I addressed students of Ukrainian universities. And it was a special address.
I hope it will be heard not only by students. Because now is the time when we have the opportunity to build the future for Ukraine that we really want. Our future, Ukrainian future. Without any obsolete and toxic things that have nothing to do with our national needs and our character. Ukraine has become the master of its own life and must decide for itself how to live.
In total, students of 25 Ukrainian universities took part in today’s meeting. The geography is quite wide: Kyiv, Bila Tserkva, Mariupol, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Lviv, Kryvyi Rih, Donetsk, Kherson, Ivano-Frankivsk, Horlivka, Dnipro.
Not all universities operate in their cities. Some of them moved. But what was nice and right – students and rectors are confident that Ukraine will win and restore free life throughout the territory.
Important current issues were also discussed. Firstly, I instructed the Minister of Education to prepare changes that will allow applicants from all temporarily occupied territories to enter Ukrainian universities under a simplified procedure.
Secondly, I instructed the Minister to decide how to ensure the education of those students who study under contract, but come from the currently occupied territories. Obviously, it is extremely difficult to pay for a contract to study in such conditions. The state must help. Therefore, I expect relevant decisions from the Minister, the Government and, if necessary, the people’s deputies.
We talked with students about post-war reconstruction and how to guarantee the security of our state for decades to come.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue the liberation of the Kharkiv region. But in Donbas, the occupiers are trying to increase pressure. There’s hell, and that’s not an exaggeration.
The brutal and absolutely pointless bombing of Severodonetsk… 12 dead and dozens wounded in just one day. The bombing and shelling of other cities, the air and missile strikes of the Russian army – all this is not just hostilities during the war.
Russian strikes at the Chernihiv region, in particular the terrible strike at Desna, debris clearance continues, many dead; constant strikes at the Odesa region, at the cities of central Ukraine, Donbas is completely destroyed – all this doesn’t and cannot have any military explanation for Russia.
This is a deliberate and criminal attempt to kill as many Ukrainians as possible. Destroy as many houses, social facilities and enterprises as possible.
This is what will be qualified as the genocide of the Ukrainian people and for which the occupiers will definitely be brought to justice.
The first trial in Ukraine against a Russian war criminal has already begun. And it will end with the full restoration of justice within the international tribunal. I’m sure of it.
We will find and bring to justice all those who give and carry out criminal orders.
Today I signed decrees on awarding our heroes. 210 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were awarded state awards, 48 of them posthumously. The title of Hero of Ukraine was posthumously awarded to Captain Serhiy Parkhomenko, commander of the aviation unit of the 299th tactical aviation brigade.
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