Address by the Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov on the Day of Unity

2022-02-16 10:30:00 | ID: 66522

Fellow citizens!

Dear Ukrainian!

As the Minister of Defence, I have been recently asked about the Russian aggression.

About the forces near our borders. About their size, manoeuvres and intentions.

I have frequently answered that our intelligence sees everything. That we keep in constant touch with partners. That our data coincides. And that Ukraine is ready for any scenarios.

This morning, just as every other day, I received report with figures and facts. They are fully consistent with our prognosis and have not anything unexpected.

Hence, I will not speak about that. I will speak about the people who are on their duty and do their job everyday. To make Ukraine safe.

The fundament of our work is the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Their size was 250 thousand people last year. Since January 1 of the current year, according to the law on national resistance, the size has increased by 11 thousand people.

Lieutenant General Valerii Zaluzhnyi is in direct command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Our Commander-in-Chief is a combat officer, who has been on the front since 2014. He perfectly knows the situation and is able to command forces under any circumstances.

Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant General Yevhen Moisiuk, is not only himself a cyborg, but a commander of the cyborgs. He personally was in command of the defence of the Donetsk airport and later became a commander of the Air Assault Forces.

The General Staff, a brain centre of our army, is headed by a Hero of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Serhii Shaptala. He commanded the 128th Mykachivsk Mountain Assault Brigade during the fierce battles of 2014-2015.

The backbone of our forces , the Army, is headed by Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskii. Oleksandr Syrskii is a very experienced military leader; he was a commander of the Joint Forces Operation in the east of Ukraine.

The Air Assault Forces is head by Brigadier General Maksym Myrgorodskyi.The first knight of the Bohdan Khmelnytskyi Order, who was awarded all three degrees in the war: for personal courage, heroism and high professionalism.

The youngest army branch, the Territorial Defence Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has been headed by Brigadier General Yurii Halushkin. He is a combat officer, a cyborg, a veteran of the fierce battles of 2014-2015.

And there are also the SOF and the Marines. Aviation and Navy. And General Ihor Gordiichuk, a Hero of Ukraine, legendary “Sumrak”, who is now fostering a future elite of Ukrainian army at the Military Lyceum named after Ivan Bohun.

I can list our worthy warriors by name for a long time. I want everyone to understand that the commanding staff of our army consists of combat generals who studied military art not only by the books, but on the front. They perfectly know who our enemy is and how to stop him.

Each one of them faced the death, lost brothers in arms. Thus, they not only qualified, but responsible and motivated commanders.

Today, the Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine enjoys the trust of our soldiers on the frontline in the east and ones who are ready to face the enemy from the north or sea on the south.

I want to thank every soldier, sergeant, officer, sailor, petty officer, general, admiral and worker of the Armed Forces for their dedication and loyalty to their country.

When soldiers trust their commanders, and people trust their army — it is the exact unity that makes our country undefeatable.

As a Minister of Defence, I want to stress that today our army has a strong support due to the synergy of all bodies of authority.

President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskii defined the development of the army as one of the priorities.

Thanks to the President’s decisions, the salary of our soldiers will increase by 30% from March 1.

The government, led by Prime Minister Denys Shmygal, and the Ukrainian Parliament are providing full support and swift implementation of the necessary decisions.

The real partner of the Ministry of Defence is the special parliamentary committee headed by Oleksandr Zavitnevych. In particular, the committee includes Hero of Ukraine Ihor Herasimenko, Hero of Ukraine Mykhailo Zabrodskyi, and cyborg Roman Kostenko. They represent different factions, but act together when it comes to the needs of the army.

I would like to note that we feel the reliable support of colleagues from other departments in matters of national defence.

The Ministry’s of Defence allies are the Ministry of Veterans, headed by a combat officer, the second female general in Ukraine, Yulia Laputina.

The National Guard, the State Border Guard Service, the National Police. The entire system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs under the leadership of my colleague Denis Monastyrskii is fulfilling its tasks to maintain peace and order in the country.

The Security Service of Ukraine, all intelligence bodies operate 24/7.

Exercises of the Armed Forces of Ukraine “Snowstorm-2022” are currently taking place all over the country. Today in Rivne region our defenders will improve their skills. At the same time, the SSU counter-sabotage exercises are underway in Kharkiv region. A couple of days earlier, guards, border guards, police and rescuers had been training in the Kherson region to curb destabilization attempts.

I would like to note that every day we feel more and more support from our foreign partners. This is the result of a great joint work carried out by the President of Ukraine, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, our diplomats led by Dmytro Kuleba.

The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine is doing everything that depends on it. I have personally spoken to the Secretary of Defence of the United States, defence ministers of the United Kingdom, Canada, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary and Lithuania. In addition, I am in contact with the Ministry of Defence of Poland and Germany.

We have already received more than 2,000 tons of modern weapons. The Javelins, the NLAWs, Stingers and other tools that we had dreamed of before have already been handed over to the troops. Our soldiers have already tried them.

Ukrainian Bayraktar UAVs are performing their duty in the sky. Soon we will build a factory in Ukraine to produce them.

The support will be even more significant as we constantly keep the dialogue on.

Two days ago I spoke with Minister of Defence of Germany Christine Lambrecht. Yesterday I talked to a great friend of Ukraine — the Minister of Defence of the United Kingdom Ben Wallace. A virtual meeting with all NATO Ministers of Defence is scheduled for tomorrow, with whom we will discuss the current situation.

Also, two days ago, I had a vital conversation with my Belarusian colleague Viktor Khrenin. Ukraine has warm sentiments for the Belarusian people. We are interested in maintaining neighbourly relations. Minister Khrenin assured that there are no and will not be any threats from the territory of Belarus to Ukraine.

We have done a lot of work for the strengthening of trust. Our Defence Аttaché attended training in Belarus yesterday. Today we will host a Belarusian attaché at an exercise in Rivne.

The team of the Ministry of Defence and all my deputies are at the workplace. And not only respond to current threats. They are shaping the future of our army, implementing NATO principles. They are doing everything to make the Ministry of Defence the most efficient corporation in the country in terms of management. And the Armed Forces are the best employer that attracts the best ones.

I list all these details to ensure that everyone who is protecting Ukraine is doing their job. All the troops who had to go to the positions to reinforce the dangerous directions have left. All those who should have received the ammunition have received it. The vehicles are fuelled, the reserves are formed.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine are fully ready to do their work. I am sure that the enemy intelligence is well aware of this.

The Kremlin also knows that the Territorial Defence Forces are deployed around the clock. We are simultaneously creating 176 military units.

The management core of professional soldiers has been formed by almost 70%. Soon we will begin systematic work on forming a Territorial Defence reserve of 130 thousand people.

At the same time, I emphasize that Ukraine stands for peace.

We aim to solve all problems, to recover our people and territories through political and diplomatic means.

We strengthen our defences every day, but we do not plan any aggressive action in the east, Crimea, or other directions. There will be no provocation from Ukraine. On the contrary, attempts to provoke us will be met with a strong response.

I appeal to all citizens.

Russia attacked Ukraine eight years ago. All this time, there are threats. We realistically assess them.

They will continue to exist. But today we are much stronger. And we will be even stronger.

The source of our strength is unity.

And also love to our country, to our loved ones, whom we must protect.

Unity is our powerful weapon.

Let’s unite, and then no one will defeat us. And will not even try.

Glory to Ukraine!