President Zelenskyi speaks to the Parliament on Constitution Day. Here’s what he said. A Russian missile strike hits a crowded restaurant in Kramatorsk, killing 10. Three children are among the dead. Ukrainian troops make gains along the Tavria line of advance in the south.
Highlights from President Zelenskyi’s address to Parliament on Constitution Day
June 28 marks 27 years since Ukraine adopted a Constitution. Constitution Day is a public holiday in Ukraine.
In 1996, the Constitution passed by a vote of 315 to 36. A 24-hour long parliamentary debate and a sleepless night preceded the adoption of Ukraine’s own Constitution.
On June 28, 2023, Ukrainian President Zelenskyi addressed the Parliament. In a speech that lasted more than an hour he said:
“Just as we have already shown that courage gives freedom, we will prove that freedom gives success. We will make it a Ukrainian axiom: freedom gives success. (…) But for this success to happen, the Ukrainian state needs to be transformed. And we will make the transformation that Ukrainians have dreamed of a reality.”
“I would like to propose today for discussion, a nationwide discussion, the main guidelines for the future Ukrainian Doctrine. We need a common vision of what the victorious Ukraine should be like,” the President said.
“Today, I propose five main guidelines for discussion, to begin a nationwide debate on the Ukrainian Doctrine. The first is the philosophy of our victory. The second is the global nature of Ukrainian security. The third is the policy of heroes. The fourth is the policy of justice. The fifth is transformation in 10 years, namely a new foreign policy, a new economy, new relations between the state and society, development of all our territories, education and science, culture, the level of security and freedom in Ukraine as a precondition and result of transformation.”
“Ukraine’s victory is the liberation of our entire territory from Russian occupation. We will not leave a single part of Ukraine to the enemy. Ukraine’s victory means withdrawal of all Russian military formations, mercenaries and militants from the entire territory of Ukraine. And it is the return to Ukraine of all our people who were captured by Russia or forcibly deported from Ukraine to Russian territory. Ukraine’s victory is the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty within internationally recognized state borders without any restrictions on Ukraine’s sovereign rights,” Zelenskyi said.
“Ukraine will never agree to any kind of a ‘frozen conflict’. (…) Any frozen conflict is a war that will inevitably break out, and the only question is when and how many lives it will take. Therefore, peace must be fair. This is the kind of peace envisioned by the Ukrainian Peace Formula,” he said.
Russian missile strike on Kramatorsk kills 10, including three children
On the evening of June 27, a Russian missile strike on Kramatorsk, in Donetsk region, hit a restaurant. Russia pounded the city with Iskander missiles, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said.
On the evening of June 28, death toll from a missile strike on Kramatorsk rose to 11. Three children are among the victims. At least 61 people were wounded. The National Police said: “There were 10 killed and 61 wounded in a Russian [missile] strike on Kramatorsk. Police staff continue to work on the impact site. As of 11:30 a.m., there were reports of three children dead and a wounded baby.” A 17-year-old girl and two 14-year-old sisters were among the dead. An eight month old baby was injured, there is no threat to his life.
A huge slab complicates the rubble-clearing operation. There could be people trapped under the rubble, head of the Kramatorsk military administration Oleksandr Honcharenko said.
On Wednesday Ukraine’s Security Service arrested an agent of the Russian special services who it accuses of helping Russia direct a missile strike on a restaurant in Kramatorsk on June 27.
The Security Service of Ukraine said the man lived in the city and was an employee at a local gas transportation company. The agent recruited by Russia, secretly filmed the restaurant and sent the footage to Russia’s military intelligence agency. Equipped with this information, Russian forces launched a missile strike on the restaurant and cars that were parked nearby.
In his nightly address, President Zelenskyi said: “Each such manifestation of terror proves over and over again to us and to the whole world that Russia deserves only one thing as a result of everything it has done – defeat and a tribunal, fair and legal trials against all Russian murderers and terrorists.”
Ukrainian troops make gains in south
Along the Tavria line of advance, Ukrainian troops have achieved partial success. Russian forces lost three companies of soldiers and 21 pieces of military equipment, commander of the operational strategic group Tavria, Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said on Telegram.
“The Tavria line. Our troops continue to advance. [Ukrainian troops] have achieved partial success. In some areas, the enemy retreats, and our troops straighten the frontline,” he said. Ukrainian missile units and artillery conducted 1,222 strikes in the past day.
Over the last day, Russian forces lost about three companies of soldiers, including those killed and injured, he added.
Ukrainian troops destroyed 21 pieces of Russian military equipment, including two BBM armored combat vehicles, two Orlan-10 drones, a 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer, a BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket system, and other vehicles. Ukrainian defense forces also destroyed five Russian ammunition depots.