On July 5, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in the memorial events on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the liberation of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk from Russian occupation.
In the course of the speech, the Head of State emphasized that it was an honor for him to be present in the place where the liberation of the Northern Donbas had begun, in particular Kramatorsk, Sloviansk and Bakhmut.
“We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the fact that the Ukrainian flags were hoisted over these cities again – our military, volunteers, law enforcers. You did it, despite the numerical superiority of the enemy,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted.
“I would also like to mention the soldiers who heroically defended Kramatorsk airport, who have been surrounded for 47 days and spent 17 days with hardly any water,” the President added.
The Head of State expressed special gratitude to the residents of the liberated cities. “You were not standing aside, you were not afraid to get out on the streets with Ukrainian flags, you faced terrible days without water, light, communication. Some people, at the risk of life, made their way to Kramatorsk airport to help our military who were holding the line,” he said, reminding that after that, there were billboards with slogans “Kramatorsk is Ukraine”, “Sloviansk is Ukraine”, which became a trend and were caught up by all liberated cities.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that the memorial stone in honor of the deceased heroes had been laid on that site thanks to the volunteers and activists. And the Memorial was built thanks to the people from different cities of Ukraine. At the same time, he noted that he had been shocked by the fact that the state had not provided any help in that. “Such an attitude is inadmissible,” the President said.
“I am not talking only about this Memorial. We will do everything to be able to say: Donbas is not just Ukraine, Donbas is a wealthy and prosperous Ukraine,” he stressed.
It should be noted that Volodymyr Zelenskyy was the first Ukrainian high-ranking official to visit this Memorial.
The Head of State also put flowers to the memorials to the deceased soldiers – members of the ATO, in particular Major General Serhiy Kulchytsky, and the deceased heroes of the National Guard and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The attendees honored memory of the deceased with a moment of silence.