Saturday November 26, 2022

Zelensky pledges to retake more areas from Russian forces in eastern region

October 05, 2022

KYIV, Ukraine: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday pledged to retake more areas in the country’s eastern Donbas region from Russian forces.

“Throughout this week, more Ukrainian flags have been raised in the Donbas. There will be even more in a week,” he said in his evening address. He spoke after Kyiv said its forces had begun moving into the key eastern town of Lyman and the defence ministry posted a video of soldiers holding up a yellow and blue Ukrainian flag there.

Russia’s defence ministry said it had “withdrawn” troops from the town “to more favourable lines”. Zelensky told Russians they would be “knocked out one by one” as long as President Vladimir Putin, who ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February, remained in power. “Until you all solve the problem with the one who started it all, who started this senseless war for Russia against Ukraine, you will be knocked out one by one,” he said, calling the war “a historic mistake for Russia”.

Meanwhile, a Kremlin-installed official in the south Ukraine region of Kherson urged residents to remain calm on Tuesday as reports were surfacing that Kyiv’s forces were making sweeping gains into Russian-controlled territory.Moscow this month called up hundreds of thousands of troops to bolster the military in eastern Ukraine where Kyiv’s forces have recently made lightning advances and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu meanwhile put the number at 200,000 as of Tuesday.

Ukraine’s southern region of Kherson was one of the first where Kyiv’s defences collapsed in February after Russian forces invaded but Ukrainian forces recently have accelerated a months-long offensive to recapture it.

“Our artillery and fighter jets are hitting enemy forces that enter the sovereign territory of Russia,” said Kirill Stremousov, the Moscow-appointed deputy head of the Kherson region. “There is no reason to panic,” he added in his message to residents of the Black Sea region on social media.

The reported gains into Kherson are a threat to the Kremlin’s claim to have formally integrated the agriculturally rich region with a pre-war population of around one million people into the Russian Federation last week.