Volodymyr Zelensky: We are doing everything to ensure that the Russian plan to turn winter into a weapon fails
An important preparatory week for us continues on the eve of diplomatic activities in the second half of November. These are important summits: G20, ASEAN, NATO Parliamentary Assembly and some others. The position of Ukraine must be and will be heard in all parts of the world.
We are also working to continue and expand our grain export initiative. We will add a permanent humanitarian component to grain exports. Together with the advanced and most conscientious states, we will increase aid to those countries and peoples who are particularly suffering from the food crisis.
And the first meetings have already taken place, we already have the first international agreements. In fact, together with our partners, we are starting cooperation, which can become the basis for guaranteeing food security at a new level. It has long been said that global coordination is needed to save the world’s poorest countries from starvation. And we are currently developing such a coordination mechanism. I hope it will be implemented.
Today I met with United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and a significant part of our talks was devoted to humanitarian topics. Because the more meaningful our cooperation with partners to overcome various humanitarian problems will be, the less international conflicts and crises will be used by Russia to blackmail the international community.
We separately discussed with Mrs. Thomas-Greenfield our steps within the UN General Assembly and draft resolutions proposed by Ukraine.
It is very important that we talked about how to ensure the access of representatives of the UN and the Red Cross to Ukrainian men and women held in Russian captivity. We use every day and every international opportunity to move closer to the release of all our people from captivity. We remember everyone who is being held captive by the occupiers.
In the information space, there is a certain decrease in the number of news from the front. There are fewer messages than, for example, at the beginning of autumn. But this does not mean that the intensity of the fighting has become less.
The situation is difficult on the entire front. In some areas, brutal positional battles continue, as before, and it is especially difficult – also as before – in the Donetsk region. The activity of the occupiers there remains at an extremely high level – dozens of attacks every day. They suffer extremely large-scale losses, but their order has not changed – to reach the administrative border of the Donetsk region. We do not give up a single centimeter of our land there. And I thank all our heroes who are holding positions in Donbas.
Kherson region. We clearly understand what the enemy is planning, so we act accordingly. Carefully, thoughtfully and in the interests of the liberation of our entire territory. We are reinforcing our positions, ruining Russian logistics, and consistently destroying the potential of the occupiers to keep the south of our country under occupation.
East. Step by step, we are moving towards the return of the Ukrainian flag to all our cities and communities. We are also actively reinforcing the border.
At the same time, work continues to restore normal life in the liberated areas. Only in the past day and only, for example, in two districts of the Kharkiv region, gas and electricity have been restored to more than a thousand households.
Repair work is also ongoing at all the energy facilities damaged by the recent Russian strikes. As of this evening, about 4 million Ukrainians in 14 regions and the city of Kyiv are disconnected from electricity supply. But most of them are disconnected based on stabilization schedules, not on an emergency basis.
I thank all our energy workers, utility workers, regional administrations, local self-governments – everyone who restores the predictability of life to our people even in such conditions.
Today, the government of Ukraine made an important decision that will help get through the winter period. The import of goods needed during the heating season will be exempt from VAT and import duty. This should simplify and reduce the cost of supplying Ukraine with generators, batteries, transformers and other equipment for energy and heat supply.
It is also important that sufficient volumes of gas and coal are being accumulated to provide for Ukrainians.
We clearly understand: turning winter into a weapon is the plan of a terrorist state against our state, as well as against the whole of Europe. But we are doing everything so that this Russian plan also fails, like various previous ones.
And one more thing.
On the Walk of the Brave in Kyiv, we opened a plaque that appeared there first. This is a plaque dedicated to Sean Penn. He was in Ukraine on February 24 and since that day he has been doing everything to help us accumulate international support.
The Walk of the Brave is not just a sign of our gratitude to political, public and cultural leaders who defend freedom together with Ukrainians, but also a reminder to all future generations of our people about what different people, forces and industries united for our victory.
The Walk of the Brave will feature all the leaders who supported Ukraine personally, coming to our land at the crucial time of a full-scale war. When such a leader arrives in Ukraine now, we open his name plaque.
In general, dozens of names will be presented on the Walk of the Brave. To date, in addition to Sean Penn, the following have already been honored: President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, President of Poland Andrzej Duda, President of Latvia Egils Levits, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala, Prime Minister of Slovenia Janez Janša, Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister of Poland Jarosław Kaczyński.
I thank everyone who helps Ukraine!
Glory to everyone who fights for our state!
Glory to our strong people!
Glory to Ukraine!