Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the newly liberated metropolis of Izyum on Wednesday, promising to push Russian troops out of all Ukrainian territories the place they continue to be — together with Crimea.
On a cloudy day in northeastern Ukraine, Zelenskyy raised the Ukrainian flag on Izyum’s predominant sq., accompanied by army officers and senior officers.
Zelenskyy, dressed within the military-style uniform that has develop into his apparel of alternative since Russia’s full-scale invasion started in February, stated that Ukrainian troops had witnessed “surprising” scenes within the newly recaptured territories.
“Destroyed buildings, murdered individuals … Sadly, that is a part of our historical past right now. And that is a part of the fashionable Russian nation — that is what they did [in Ukraine],” Zelenskyy stated.
Izyum, a metropolis which had a pre-war inhabitants of round 46,000, was liberated final weekend throughout a shock advance of Ukrainian troops within the Kharkiv area, after round six months of Russian occupation.
Pictures revealed by the presidential media workplace confirmed a metropolis scarred by burned and destroyed buildings round its predominant sq., the place the leaves on timber have began to tackle a red-yellow tint as fall begins.
Zelenskyy additionally stated that Kyiv plans to liberate all the nation’s occupied territories, together with Crimea, which was annexed by Russia with none Ukrainian army resistance in 2014.
“My sign to the individuals in Crimea: We all know that these are our individuals, and it’s a horrible tragedy that they’ve been beneath occupation for greater than eight years,” Zelenskyy stated. “We are going to return there. I don’t know when precisely. However we’ve got plans, and we are going to return there, as a result of that is our land and our individuals.”
Zelenskyy’s formidable warfare objectives are a transparent departure from the preliminary goals acknowledged by Kyiv within the early weeks of warfare.
Again then, Zelenskyy and different senior Ukrainian officers stated that Kyiv’s predominant goal was to push the Russian troops again to the place they have been earlier than the 2022 invasion — now in its 203rd day — started.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskyy’s workplace, stated in an interview with POLITICO that the warfare with Russia can’t be finalized on the pre-February borders.
“This might be fully unacceptable for Ukrainian society,” Podolyak stated. “If this stays the case, Russia will search for an excuse for revanchism.”
He stated that the present goal is to revive the territorial integrity of Ukraine as of 1991, when the nation’s declaration of independence was signed.
“These boundaries should be restored. Russia should depart the territory of Ukraine,” Podolyak added.