Zelensky marks war anniversary with tribute to Ukrainians' courage

Zelensky marks war anniversary with tribute to Ukrainians' courage

Feb 25, 2024

Kyiv [Ukraine], February 25: President Volodymyr Zelensky has marked the second anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine with a commemoration of the victims of the war, also attended by foreign dignitaries.
"Every normal person wants the war to end, but none of us will allow our Ukraine to end," the Ukrainian president said, against the backdrop of destroyed aeroplanes at Hostomel airport near Kiev on Saturday. He said that the war would only end "on our terms" and with a "just" peace. Zelensky said he was proud of the Ukrainians fighting for their independence.
The president recalled that the battle for the capital Kiev began in Hostomel. "And it was here that he [Russian President Vladimir Putin)] suffered his first fundamental defeat," Zelensky said. He thanked the foreign allies for their help in the defence campaign.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she remembered how two years ago, it seemed as if "everything was lost." But thanks to the courage of the Ukrainians, this did not happen, she said. They had amazed the world, she said. The heads of government of Belgium, Italy and Canada - Alexander De Croo, Giorgia Meloni and Justin Trudeau - also gave speeches at the ceremony. Zelensky then awarded medals to soldiers.
Zelensky signed separate security deals with the prime ministers of Italy and Canada on Saturday, as a group of Western leaders was in Kiev to express their solidarity on the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"Ukraine is definitely stronger now than it was two years ago," Zelensky wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter, announcing the deal signed together with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"Our meetings with Italian Prime Minister @GiorgiaMeloni are always meaningful," the Ukrainian leader said in a separate post announcing the agreement with Italy.
"We continue to guarantee our support for Ukraine," said Meloni. Italy's agreement with Ukraine is modelled on Ukraine's agreements with Germany and France, she said.
Kiev has already forged a series of security deals with Western allies, including Berlin and Paris. On Friday, Zelensky signed a similar agreement with Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. In addition to political support, the agreements provide for military and financial aid for Ukraine.
Source: Qatar Tribune