Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko congratulated Ukrainian men on Motherland Defender Day and promised the government would ensure the country's national defense capacity, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

"This day, everybody congratulates men on a holiday of courageous people, who are ready to sacrifice their knowledge, experience, and even their lives defending their motherland, as well as those who defended their state and who will do this in the future," reads the premier's letter of congratulation posted on the government's official Web site on Monday.

Tymoshenko said the amount of funds allocated to the military sector this year was higher than in previous years.

"The government will continue to take measures needed to ensure the defense capacity of Ukraine's national security and meet the country's social commitments to its motherland defenders," she said.

Tymoshenko said that in contrast to certain "artificial and far-fetched holidays," Motherland Defender Day is an "absolutely real one."

The premier wished Ukrainian men good health, prosperity, and achievements in their service for the sake of Ukraine.

"It also seems to me that the February 23 holiday exists for everybody to remember that [International Women's Day] falls on March 8, in exactly two weeks," she said.


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