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Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday visited the town of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region to meet with troops on the eastern frontline, to mark the Day of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
“I meet with our fighters on the front on this day. Today we are in Donbas. The combat zone has become bigger, the fighting is tougher, the price is higher,” Zelensky said in a video posted on his Telegram channel.
“Our Armed Forces protect their native land, and this gives the strongest possible motivation.
“They fight for freedom, and this always increases any strength. They defend the truth, which means they defend the future of Ukraine.”
According to the Ukrainian presidency, Zelensky handed out awards to soldiers and thanked them for their strength.
“I have the honor to be with our defenders here in Donbas. I believe that we will meet next time in our Ukrainian Donetsk, Luhansk. I am sure that we will also meet in Crimea (which Russia annexed in 2014),” the Ukrainian leader added.
Zelensky’s visit comes hours after authorities in Kherson said that Russian forces had pounded the southern region with massive shelling, a day after a wave of missile strikes against critical infrastructure across Ukraine saw several cities suffer power and water outages.
“The Russians continue to massively bombard the Kherson region with artillery and multiple rocket launchers,” Kherson regional police said in a report, according to Ukrinform.
The Russians are “deliberately targeting apartment buildings and infrastructure facilities in order to cause as much damage as possible and cause casualties among the civilian population,” the report added.
The Kyiv authorities reported Tuesday that around half of the capital’s residents would be without electricity for several days.