Zelenskyy reiterates importance of state defence to local officials

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reminded local authorities that Ukraine is at war, and spending money on some other “priority issues” instead of military needs is a big mistake.

Source: Zelenskyy’s speech at the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, video published by the Office of the President of Ukraine

Quote:“If someone in any position, whether in the state or in local government, for some reason believes that the war is ‘somewhere out there’ and that they can focus on something else – so to speak, on some other priority issue – then this is a big mistake that needs to be fixed. And we will fix it.”

Details: Ukraine’s president stressed that the main task now is the defence of Ukraine, and the defence of the state is the duty of everyone.

Quote: “If someone does not know the details of what is happening on the frontline and has forgotten who is our neighbour, unfortunately, I want to remind you all: defence is our first priority. People will not forget, people will not forgive, especially those people who have to bury their children.”

Background:

  • On 14 December, the Kyiv City Council adopted the budget for 2024. Its expenditures amount to more than UAH 85.3 billion (roughly US$2.3 billion), of which only UAH 1 billion (US$27 million) is allocated to help the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

  • During this meeting, Volodymyr Prokopiv, Head of the European Solidarity party faction in the Kyiv City Council, said that Kyiv should not focus the city budget on the war, this should be done by the state, and “cities should live their own lives”.

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