President Zelensky awards heroes on Defenders' Day, reaffirming Ukraine's commitment to sovereignty and honoring the brave soldiers who have sacrificed for their country.
On the occasion of Defenders' Day, President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a resolute message, affirming Ukraine's unwavering commitment to safeguarding the future of its children and its sovereignty, steadfastly refusing to trade them for empty promises of peace.
President Zelensky honored the bravery and sacrifice of Ukrainian soldiers by bestowing them with various state decorations, honorary titles, and battle flags during the ceremony. He also took part in the swearing-in ceremony of graduates from military high schools.
One of the most solemn moments of the event was the posthumous awarding of the Order of the "Golden Star" to the families of several distinguished heroes. Lt. Col. Vasyl Bogach and Sergeant Ihor Kolesnichenko, both posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine, were honored with the highest state decoration. Major Hero of Ukraine Danylo Murashko, a valiant pilot who carried out 141 combat sorties during the war, was also remembered with this prestigious accolade.
Senior Sergeant Maksym Stryzhak, who valiantly defended Bakhmut, was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine, and the "Golden Star" was presented to the family of senior lieutenant Władysław Skvortsov for his heroic actions in the early battles of the war.
The order was also bestowed upon the family of senior lieutenant Andriy Soroka, the commander of a mortar battery, who distinguished himself in the battles near Maryinka in the Donetsk region. Oleksandr Fedorchenko, a heroic senior sergeant of a fire support company, was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.
Military medic Yevhen Hrapka, who served as a volunteer in the ATO zone in Donbas since 2014 and later in the Armed Forces since 2016, was recognized for his unwavering service with the Order of the "Golden Star."
Major Oleksiy Grebenshchik, a military aviation pilot who has defended Ukraine since the outset of the war, was also honored with the highest state distinction.
Lieutenant Colonel Semen Kuharenko, who defended settlements in the Donetsk Oblast, including Bakhmut, during the spring and summer of 2023, received the "Golden Star" for his valiant efforts.
The title of Hero of Ukraine with the "Golden Star" award was presented to Lieutenant Colonel Kyryl Peretyatko, under whose command 65 enemy air targets were destroyed between July and August 2023.
The President also recognized the remarkable contributions of military pilot Captain Ihor Kharchenko, who flew 107 combat sorties during the large-scale invasion by the Russian Federation.
In addition to these honors, senior lieutenant Serhiy Kharchenko, who played a crucial role in repelling Russian invaders as part of a National Guard of Ukraine battalion since the early days of the war, was also awarded the "Golden Star."
President Zelensky concluded the ceremony by presenting four soldiers with the "Cross of Combat Merit" decoration of the President of Ukraine, along with various other orders and distinctions to acknowledge their bravery and dedication in defending Ukraine.