Zelensky: Once Mykolaiv region has powerful air defense, we will be able to restore important educational facilities
During a working trip to Mykolaiv region, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met with students of three Mykolaiv higher education institutions: Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding, Mykolaiv National Agrarian University, and Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University.
Speaking to the students, the Head of State thanked the young people for staying in Ukraine and getting higher education here despite the Russian war.
"I believe that the state is standing as an iron shield against the Russian invasion only because of the Ukrainians who are here in Ukraine. Because of our warriors, because of the people who work every day, and because of those for whom all this is happening and who are the face of Ukraine's future. These are students, young people like you," the President said.
According to him, young people in Ukraine are one of the strongest factors motivating to win the war.
"There is someone to fight for - everyone is in their place in the state. You are a motivating factor: cities are not empty, there is life in cities. And life must be protected," the Ukrainian President said.
He also noted the volunteer movement among students. He also reminded that many students had volunteered for the front at the beginning of the full-scale invasion.
Answering the question about the restoration of the educational infrastructure of Mykolaiv region, which suffered from Russian shelling, the President noted that today Ukraine is working with its partners to enhance the air defense system, including in Mykolaiv, to protect residents from Russian attacks and minimize the destruction of civilian infrastructure.
"Once Mykolaiv region has powerful air defense, I think we will be able to restore important facilities very quickly: universities, hospitals, and many social institutions," he said.
The Head of State also spoke about the Danish Patronage Programme for the restoration of Mykolaiv region.
In addition, Zelensky expressed his belief that in the future there will be a great demand for professional education and security education in Ukraine.
"Military, mil-tech, professional military education, technical education in this area... All these Western-type weapons, NATO standards – Ukrainians already have experience of using them in combat, not just theoretically. We have all these specialists. There is a great demand for this. Therefore, we should look at this from the point of view of commercial education for Western students," the President noted.
According to him, education in the agricultural and maritime industries, as well as medicine in the area of physical and psychological rehabilitation, is also promising.
According to Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine is moving step by step towards its goal of restoring peace on our land.
The Head of State noted that Ukraine needs reliable air defense and modern fighter jets to control its skies.
"When will we get them? When our guys finish their training. It depends on many things. Besides expertise, experience and a good knowledge of English are required for studying. I think that in 2024 we will be able to get the first fighter jets," he said.
The President also expressed his belief that the Russian aggressor will eventually be held to account, and we must direct all our efforts to this end.
Zelensky also proposed to create a platform where various student initiatives and proposals could be discussed.
"The most important thing is to find a simple tool for people who respect each other, without any bureaucracy. So let's think about a platform that will have proposals, a simple format of selecting these proposals, and then understanding what you need," he said.
Answering the question about how the state plans to mentally return people who have been living in the territories temporarily occupied by Russia for a long time after the de-occupation of Donbas and Crimea, the Head of State noted that the situation with Donbas is even more complicated than with Crimea, because after the occupation in 2014, a touch line appeared in Donbas, where there were constant hostilities involving separatists who fought on the side of the occupiers.
"Crimea is very much looking forward to returning, and Donbas is also waiting for it. But it will be extremely difficult, because most of this territory was occupied and militarized to the maximum. People went to the touch line and then to the full-scale war against us," the President noted.
The President emphasized that the main thing for Ukraine today is to preserve the existing integrity within the country, which is a unique experience of uniting the country.
"Everything else will definitely come back. It takes time for some territory. It takes time for people, a new generation, a lot of work, a long way. But we need to preserve this core, because it is the core of Ukraine today," he is convinced.
Zelensky urged young people to live with the feeling that Russia could not take away their best years as students.
"They wanted to take away as much of your time as possible. But you should know that this is your life, and you haven't given it to anyone. You already have a lot of experience, and if you preserve values in this experience, we will have a country based on them. I wish you to preserve this," summarized the President.