Address by President Volodymyr Zelensky, Feb. 16, 2023

February 16,2023 621
Address by President Volodymyr Zelensky, Feb. 16, 2023

Keeping the situation on the frontline under control and preparing for any escalation steps of the enemy is a priority for the nearest future

Good health to you, fellow Ukrainians!

We have another piece of good news – we are bringing Ukrainians home from Russian captivity. Today we have brought back 101 people more.

Most of them are Mariupol defenders, privates and sergeants. Navy, border guards, National Guard, ground troops, territorial defense. One civilian is the first deputy mayor of Enerhodar.

I am happy for each of the more than a hundred Ukrainian families whose sons, brothers and husbands are returning. I am grateful to our Coordination Center, our entire team and everyone who is helping.

Today, I held a regular meeting of the Staff, and all the commanders of the operational directions took part in it. We heard detailed reports about the situation in each of the areas and the prospects for each of the operational directions.

The supply of weapons, the supply of ammunition, training of our military. The enemy’s plans and capabilities. The potential of the Ukrainian response.

Keeping the situation on the frontline under control and preparing for any escalation steps of the enemy is a priority for the nearest future. Moving forward with the further liberation of our land is a priority that we are carefully preparing.

I had several important international conversations today. Exactly those that strengthen us.

Of the things I can talk about publicly, I will mention the following. In the morning, I took part in a meeting of the Norwegian Storting, the parliament. They were just working on a historic support package for our country – for five years. More than 7 billion dollars.

Norway is one of our most consistent and energetic partners. This applies to weapons as well, in particular the powerful NASAMS air defense systems. And many other aspects of support.

But what is especially important is that this package of long-term, five-year support is an example, a benchmark. This is the level that other partners see.

I once again thank all Norwegians for the assistance packages already provided to our country and for today’s decision. This is what really strengthens us.

Today I met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel, who was on a visit to Ukraine. We had a detailed conversation.

I informed him about the situation on the frontline and our efforts on international platforms. In particular, I presented our Peace Formula and invited Israel to join its implementation.

I met with the Leader of the British Labour Party and the Official Opposition. The British are a sincere and strong ally of ours, they are among the strongest defenders of global freedom.

It is important that representatives of the entire political spectrum of the United Kingdom see with their own eyes what the Russian war has brought and how Ukrainians are determined to win and rebuild their country. It was a meaningful and useful meeting today.

I once again thank Britain for all the support provided to our people, for all the defense power that we have gained with the help of the British.

I spoke with the President of Kazakhstan. First and foremost, we talked about cooperation on international platforms – what we can do together for the sake of our common interests and the protection of international law. I thanked him for the humanitarian support for Ukraine.

And a few other very important things.

Today our Lithuanian brothers celebrate the 105th anniversary of the restoration of the Lithuanian state.

This is a holiday whose importance is especially felt right now, when we, together with Lithuania, are defending our freedom and our right to Europe.

I want to emphasize this again now: Lithuania started helping us even before Russia started its full-scale invasion. And I constantly feel this support – both from Mr. President Gitanas Nausėda and from the Lithuanian state as a whole.

I am absolutely sure that we will celebrate the days of our statehood together many more times – and always in our free countries.

I have just taken part in the opening of the 73rd Berlin Film Festival. As always, it is principled. As always, it is relevant. And this year, it is as much in solidarity with Ukraine and our struggle for freedom as possible.

This year’s blue and yellow colors of the Berlinale’s symbol, the famous bear, are really touching. And powerful. Together we prove that even a bear can be the right one.

I am grateful to all the filmmakers who did not remain indifferent and support us with the power of their works and their influence. I thank all the organizers and participants of the festival. And of course, I am thankful to Sean Penn, who was in Ukraine on the first day of the full-scale invasion and who has been only more determined to support Ukrainians since then.

And praising our defenders, honoring our heroes.

Paratroopers of the 79th separate air assault brigade and artillerymen of the 55th separate artillery brigade – thank you guys for your bravery and precision. Thank you for your skillful and steadfast defense of the Donetsk region.

Zaporizhzhia direction – I thank all the warriors of the 129th separate Kryvyi Rih territorial defense brigade. They firmly hold the line of defense.

And, of course, I thank our Air Forces, all the air defense fighters and pilots who ensured the result in shooting down the Russian missiles today.

36 missiles and drones during today’s attack. Half of them were shot down.

We do our best to ensure that our warriors are capable of shooting down the enemy’s entire arsenal in our skies.

I thank everyone who helps! Glory to each and every one who is now in combat!

Glory to Ukraine!

Source: President of Ukraine’s official website

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