Donetsk, Feb 23 – DAN. DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko congratulated residents on Defender of the Fatherland Day remembering the heroes who gave their lives for the future of the Republic.

“For us, Defender of the Fatherland Day is a holiday with tears in the eyes, as is Victory Day. Unfortunately, the war claims the lives of best people, our friends and comrades-in-arms. On this day, I would like to honour the memory of all those who gave their lives for the future of the Donetsk People’s Republic. We bow low to you. Your descendants will not forget your feats and sacrifice,” Zakharchenko said in a statement.

He underlined that Defender of the Fatherland Day is a holiday for all those who fight for freedom and independence, both on the frontline with weapons in hand and in the rear.

“The Donetsk People’s Republic needs the work of teachers, doctors and public utilities personnel, all those who did not submit to the criminal Nazi regime that came to power in Kiev,” Zakharchenko said adding that his statement was meant both for men and women.

“We cannot but remember our heroic women who stood up to defend our Motherland together with men. Hundreds of women serve in DPR militia. Risking their lives daily, our sisters, wives and mothers show miracles of selflessness and courage,” he said.

DPR Head expressed confidence that “the Republic will win the struggle for freedom, justice and equality” wishing his compatriots health, well-being and peace.

Defender of the Fatherland Day was established in Russia in 1922 as Day of the Red Army and Navy. It is an official holiday in Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic. Ukraine abrogated this holiday.*jk