The Ukrainian president made the comments on Sunday while marking the Day of the Defenders, a national event honouring the country’s veterans and those killed in battle.
In an address published by the Kyiv Post, he said: “Today we thank everyone who stood, stands and will stand strong. All those who were the first to take on a difficult battle.
“Our border guards, our infantry, tank crewmen, pilots, sailors, artillerymen, anti-aircraft gunners, our paratroopers, special forces, intelligence, the Security Service of Ukraine, the National Guard, police, territorial defence.
“All those who defend the Ukrainian land, sea and sky. Whose protection we feel and whose courage we see every day.”
He added: “Behind us is our history. Ahead is our victory. And a free country. Which we defended, defend and will defend.”
It comes after prime minister Rishi Sunak rowed back on claims made by defence secretary Grant Shapps on Saturday that UK troops could carry out training in the country.
Mr Shapps said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph newspaper that he wanted to deploy military instructors to Ukraine, in addition to training Ukrainian armed forces in Britain or other Western countries.
Hours after that interview was published, Mr Sunak said there were no immediate plans to send British troops to Ukraine.
“What the defence secretary was saying was that it might well be possible one day in the future for us to do some of that training in Ukraine,” Sunak told reporters at the start of the governing Conservative Party’s annual conference in Manchester.
“But that’s something for the long term, not the here and now. There are no British soldiers that will be sent to fight in the current conflict.”
Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday said any British soldiers training Ukrainian troops in Ukraine would be legitimate targets for Russian forces.
In other developments, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has called on US lawmakers to reconsider their decision to omit financial support for Ukraine from a stop-gap budget bill Congress passed to halt a federal government shutdown.
The legislation approved on Saturday to keep the federal government running until 17 November dropped provisions on providing additional aid to Ukraine, a White House priority opposed by a growing number of Republicans.
Speaking in Kyiv after meeting with Mr Zelensky, the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said European officials were surprised by the last-minute agreement in Washington and pledged the 27-nation bloc would carry on helping the invaded country defeat Russia.
“I have hope that this will not be a definitive decision and Ukraine will continue having the support of the US,” Mr Borrell said.
“We are facing an existential threat. Ukrainians are fighting with all their courage and capacities, and if we want them to be successful, then you have to provide them with better arms, and quicker,” the Spanish diplomat added.
Ukrainian officials stressed that US backing for Ukraine would continue despite the stop-gap legislation.
Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine‘s presidential office, said America’s relationship with Ukraine had not changed and that Ukrainian officials met regularly with representatives from both the Democratic and Republican parties.
“All of Ukraine’s key partners are determined to support our country until its victory in this war,” he wrote on Telegram.
But the omission of additional Ukrainian aid from the package has raised concerns in Kyiv, which relies heavily on western financial aid and military equipment in its fight against Russia’s ongoing invasion.
A little more than a week ago, lawmakers met in the Capitol with Mr Zelensky, who sought to assure them his military was winning the war but stressed that additional aid would be crucial for continuing the fight.
Yet recent voting in the House has pointed to increased US isolationism and a growing resistance to providing further aid as the war, now in its 20th month, grinds on.
Additional reporting by agencies