Ukrainian soldiers who used to serve in the Soviet Army and participate in hostilities in Afghanistan today are at the forefront of all events that are historically important for our country. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman said this during a ceremony of Commemoration of Combatants in the Territory of Other States and the 30th Anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. According to official statistics, more than 160,000 Ukrainians - the military of the Soviet Army – had gone through the trials of the Afghan war in 1979-1989.
The Head of Government reminded that in those years his parents had helped the Soviet soldiers returning from Afghanistan to find work, forge their own path. "I was a boy, and young people came to our home at that time and told about that tough and parlous times (during that war). Even then, I had a sincere and great respect for them", said Volodymyr Groysman. "By a twist of fate, aftermath I was working in many ways with the Afghans organizations, and your unity, your heroism and willingness to help commanded great respect as before."
Volodymyr Groysman stressed, Ukraine faces unprecedented challenges of preserving the statehood and flushing the enemy out of Ukraine’s territory. "And in these historically important events, Afghan war participants are always ahead", said Volodymyr Groysman. "One of the foreign journalists asked me recently: what will happen if the Russians move on further? My answer was if they advanced further, Ukrainian soldiers would bury them. I assure you. And I believe that there will be peace on our land. While your best features will give us the opportunity to have the big win."
According to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, since 1992, more than 44,000 Ukrainian servicemen have taken part in international peacekeeping operations, of which 54 were killed. At present, the Ukrainian Armed Forces participate in 8 international peacekeeping operations in 6 countries.