On behalf of the Government I congratulate You on the Defender of Ukraine Day!
On this day in Ukraine has had a grand tradition to honor the courage and heroism of people who defended the homeland from enemies with arms. The Day of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God was the largest holiday of the Zaporizhzhia Cossacks, as it was the Mother of God they considered the patroness of all the Zaporizhzhian Army, who protected them in times of peace and war. It is traditionally believed that the Ukrainian Insurgent Army was founded just on the Day of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, and it threw down the challenge to the largest armies of the world and proclaimed its goal to establish a Ukrainian Independent Unified State.
This day embodies the continuity of our military tradition for Ukrainians, and we honor the defenders of Ukraine who are struggling against Russian military aggression. Starting from spring 2014, Ukrainian volunteers, militarymen and military doctors have been demonstrating to the whole world an unprecedented courage and self-sacrifice. We owe our defenders the fact that the enemy still has not taken a step further and our children are growing up secure. We will never forget those who laid down their lives for our country and for our lives. The memory about the fallen heroes will always live in our hearts.
Our current objective is to prolong reforming the Ukrainian army and to ensure the irreversibility of political, economic, military integration with the European Union and the NATO. The Ukrainian Army should continue the path of retrofitting, re-equipping and introducing of modern military standards. Therefore, we allocate an unprecedented resource for the defense sector to ensure that the Ukrainian army could become one of the most powerful military forces in the region, and the Ukrainian serviceman prestige could only grow. I believe that we will bring about all necessary transformations and achieve our strategic goal - acquiring our NATO membership and ensuring Ukraine's defense capability, as well as its promoting further democratic development.
I express gratitude to all the defenders of Ukraine for your loyal service to the Motherland and your readiness to risk your lives for the sake of your country and the safety of your loved ones! Our fighters in the east are a guarantee of independence of our state and future landmark and irreversible changes – the course our country embarked on, abandoning the colonial past. I believe that our country has a great future ahead. I wish all our defenders good health, military ability, to return home safe, and most importantly - peace, harmony and well-being in our country and in all Ukrainian homes!
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes!
Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr GROYSMAN