The statement made by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, on 17 May 2022.
The 83rd day of our defense began with a rather powerful combination of Russian strikes at Ukraine. Missile shelling of the Lviv region, Sumy region, Chernihiv region. Air strikes in the Luhansk region. Specific sabotage activity in the border areas of Ukraine.
All this is not just creating tension for our state, not just testing our strength. This is a kind of attempt of the Russian army to compensate for a series of failures in the east and south of our country.
They cannot demonstrate success with general military action in the areas where they are trying to advance. So they are trying to show success through their missiles and other activities. To no avail as well.
These strikes, like many previous ones, do not change anything radically. Especially since our air defense and anti-sabotage measures are becoming stronger.
I had a conversation today with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Quite productive. First of all, about the defense support for Ukraine, about our cooperation at the EU level. I informed him about the current situation on the battlefield and the possible development of this situation.
I had a conversation with President of France Emmanuel Macron. Substantive and long. We discussed the sixth package of sanctions being prepared in the European Union. We also discussed the negotiation process with Russia and evacuation of our heroes from Azovstal. The evacuation mission continues, it is overseen by our military and intelligence. The most influential international mediators are involved.
We also spoke separately and substantively with the President of France about our European integration steps and the consideration of Ukraine’s application for EU candidate status.
I continue to gather the largest possible international audience for Ukraine. To support our state at all levels. And to put pressure on Russia at all levels.
Information, diplomatic and cultural pressure is what we need. So that, as in the days of World War II, the struggle for freedom can rely in particular on the power of art.
So today, during the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, I addressed the world filmmaking community. I reminded that now, as in the 1940s, it is necessary to boldly and openly defend freedom and fight the dictatorship. Right now is the time. When the language of cinematography can and should become the language of the struggle for freedom.
Today I signed decrees on awarding our heroes. 165 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were awarded state awards, 13 of them posthumously.
The title of Hero of Ukraine was awarded to 3 servicemen of the 24th separate mechanized brigade. To those who showed extraordinary courage and efficiency in the battles in Donbas.
Today I bid farewell to the first President of Ukraine Leonid Makarovych Kravchuk. The ceremony took place in Kyiv. In Kyiv, which will remain Ukrainian. The capital of an independent state. From 1991 and forever.
Eternal glory to all who stood up for Ukraine!
Eternal memory to everyone who fought for independence!
Glory to Ukraine!