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Zelenskyy: Russia has a goal to drive people out of Kharkiv

Zelenskyy stressed the importance of strengthening air defense, restoring electricity and water supply, and building bomb shelters in schools of the Oblast.
Zelenskyy in Kharkiv Oblast, 9 April 2024. Photo by Zelenskyy’s press office
Zelenskyy: Russia has a goal to drive people out of Kharkiv

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently held a meeting in Kharkiv to discuss the strengthening of air defense systems and the economic support for the region amidst ongoing war. “I watched the construction of fortifications. Shoring up this direction is very important. Russian terrorists must see the reinforcement of the Kharkiv region,” Zelenskyy stressed.

During the meeting, Zelenskyy, along with the Commander of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Mykola Oleshchuk, discussed new schemes for protecting Kharkiv from air attacks, involving additional air defense resources, Zelenskyy’s press office reported.

“It is an honor to be here today. Kharkiv is having a hard time. But thanks to such strong people as you, life is preserved here. And I am sure: there will be victory in Kharkiv and in our entire state,” the President emphasized.

The President emphasized the importance of strengthening air defense, restoring electricity and water supply, and building bomb shelters in schools in Kharkiv Oblast. He also mentioned that the Cabinet of Ministers should decide on compensating Kharkiv residents and local businesses for fuel used for generators. “Russia’s goal is clear: they want to do everything possible to drive people out of Kharkiv and the region,” Zelenskyy said.

Oleh Syniehubov, Head of the Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration, Minister of Energy Herman Halushchenko, and the head of the board of NEC “Ukrenergo” Volodymyr Kudrytskyi reported to the President about the consequences of Russian shelling for power-generating capacities and the current situation with electricity supply. Participants agreed on plans to restore power generation and construct protective structures. They also discussed pressing social issues for the region, including plans for offline education in some areas of Kharkiv starting September this year. Funds for building school shelters and purchasing school transport are allocated in the state budget.

“I am proud of Kharkiv residents,” Zelenskyy commented. “I am grateful to everyone who has worked these weeks to give Kharkiv and the region more electricity, to ensure more protection from Russian strikes. All the necessary conditions are being created to reduce the electricity shortage. Kharkiv should get lighter schedules.”

In Kharkiv Oblast, President Zelenskyy spoke with the commander of the Operational Command “Kharkiv.” Brigadier General Yuriy Halushkin reported to the Head of State on the operational situation in his direction and readiness to counter potential threats from Russia.

Zelenskyy participated in the presentation of the economic platform “Made in Ukraine” and met with business representatives in Kharkiv Oblast, thanking them for preserving the regional economy during the war. “We are ready to talk about your most painful issues. Where we can help, we will do so,” Zelenskyy stated.

First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Yuliya Svyrydenko noted that Kharkiv Oblast is actively involved in state support programs. “With Kharkiv region’s business, we also raised the issue of expanding localization to new categories of goods and priority for Ukrainian manufacturers in public procurement. We must buy domestic as a state and as citizens. Especially when Ukrainian goods are produced in such difficult conditions,” she emphasized. During the dialogue with business representatives, it was discussed that the government is working on several decisions considering the situation in the region. In particular, they are considering increasing the size of micro-grants for businesses in Kharkiv Oblast.

Zelenskyy awarded state honors to servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National Guard, who distinguished themselves during the defense of Kharkiv Oblast and on the Bakhmut direction. He also awarded police officers and rescuers who heroically eliminated the consequences of Russian strikes on Kharkiv.

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