Accompanied by Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha, NSDCU Secretary Vitaly Haiduk, Deputy Prime Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk, Defense Minister Anatoly Hrytsenko, Acting Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko and Deputy Speaker Adam Martynyuk, Victor Yushchenko has attended a wreath-laying ceremony to honor veterans of the Afghan war, according to the President`s press-office.

They observed one minute of silence. A brass band performed the national anthem. Six rifle volleys were fired. The President then spoke with a few veterans and relatives of those killed in the war. A requiem mass was held in the Ascension Church after the ceremony.

In an address to the nation, Mr. Yushchenko thanked the veterans for preserving their brotherhood. He also praised their contribution to national unity and the development of the Ukrainian state.

“As Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, I would like to thank you for serving your motherland and for your efforts to benefit the people,” he said.

Humanism and mercy of the Ukrainian officers is appreciated and respected in different corners of the world, he added.