In the framework of a working trip to Lviv region, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal took part in the graduation ceremony of young lieutenants in the Hetman Petro Saiaydachny National Ground Forces Academy.
The celebrations, which took place in compliance with all quarantine norms set by the Ministry of Health, were attended by Colonel General of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak, Lieutenant General, Chief of the National Ground Forces Academy, Chief of the Lviv Garrison Pavlo Tkachuk, Lieutenant General, Commander of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrsky, Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Oleh Nemchinov, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Ihor Khalimon, Head of the Lviv Regional State Administration Maxym Kozytsky, Head of the Lviv Regional Council Olexandr Hanushchyn, Lviv city head Andrii Sadovy, Bishop of the Curia of the Kyiv-Halych Supreme Archbishop of the UGCC Stepan Sus, Commander of the United Multinational Training Group "Ukraine" Colonel John Mokley and others.
Graduates of the Academy heard a video address by the President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andrii Taran.
Speaking to the graduates, Denys Shmyhal noted that, unfortunately, through the coronavirus-inflicted crisis, the celebrations have to be held in a special format, without parents and relatives of the graduates, but "relatives of the graduates can still watch the ceremony online and are proud of the graduates." The Head of Government wished the young officers to become the new elite of the state and reminded that they are graduates of one of the oldest military educational institutions in Ukraine. "Already today there is a whole cohort of heroes among the graduates of the National Ground Forces Academy named after Hetman Petro Sahaidachny, and nine graduates have the highest title of Hero of Ukraine, about 400 graduates have been awarded the highest awards of the state, 64 graduates had performed their military service to the end and unfortunately today they are not with us," Denys Shmyhal stressed and asked to observe a minute of silence in memory of the fallen graduates of the Academy.
"The Hetman Petro Saiaydachny National Ground Forces Academy is an elite higher education institution. I am convinced that the knowledge you have gained here will help you in the daily service to the people of Ukraine. Thanks to our international partners we have the world's best methods of training professional military specialists. You have all been trained and mastered the best technologies in practice, and I am confident that you will be able to use your knowledge with honor and dignity, with full responsibility to the Ukrainian people," the Prime Minister highlighted.
Denys Shmyhal also thanked the scientific and teaching staff of the Academy and its head - Doctor of History, Professor, Lieutenant General Pavlo Tkachuk, who "with heartedness and with full devotion passed on their knowledge and skills to graduates."
Addressing the graduates, the Prime Minister stressed: "You are the elite of the Ukrainian Army, you are the elite of the Ukrainian state. I wish you a fortunate officer's destiny, I wish you victories, I wish you health, success and luck. Glory to the Armed Forces of Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine! "
On behalf of the President of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal presented state awards to graduates of the Academy of Ground Forces - participants in combat operations. Among this year's graduates are 131 participants in hostilities in the area of united forces operation, who had entered the Academy directly from the front. Eight of the graduates were awarded state awards for courage and heroism during the war.
The best graduate of the Academy in 2020 was Lieutenant Yehor Nastyka, he graduated from the Academy with a gold medal and became a Сandidate for a master of sports in deadlift. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak presented the best graduate of the Academy with a special award - a gold flanged mace.
Graduates of the National Academy of Ground Forces took the solemn oath of a Ukrainian officer. 11 of them graduated from the Academy with honors and a gold medal.