KHARKIV: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday (14th of September, 2022) promised “victory” on a visit to the strategic city of Izyum that was recently recaptured from Russia by Kyiv’s army in a lightning counter-offensive.
The visit comes at a decisive moment in Russia’s six-month invasion, with Ukraine routing Moscow’s forces from swathes of the east and seriously undermining the Kremlin’s ambitions to capture the entire Donbas region of Ukraine.
“Our blue-yellow flag is already flying in deoccupied Izyum. And it will be so in every Ukrainian city and village,” Zelensky said in a statement on social media.
“We are moving in only one direction — forward and towards victory.”
Pictures distributed by his office showed the Ukrainian leader wearing dark green and flanked by guards as he took selfies with soldiers and thanked troops at a flag-hoisting ceremony.
Ukraine has claimed sweeping successes in the northeastern Kharkiv region that borders Russia in recent days, and also says it has clawed back territory along a southern front near the Kherson region on the Black Sea.
Zelensky said Wednesday that Russia’s occupation of Crimea – annexed by Russia in 2014 – was a “tragedy” and promised that his forces would eventually recapture the peninsula.
Kyiv’s forces in the Kharkiv region have since September 6 recaptured around 8,500 square kilometres (3,200 square miles) and areas home to some 150,000 people, said deputy foreign affairs minister Ganna Maliar.
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