President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference with the heads of state of France, Germany and Romania, at Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, on 16 June, 2022. – The leaders of major EU powers France, Germany and Italy vowed on 16 June to help Ukraine defeat Russia and to rebuild its shattered cities, in a visit to a war-torn Kyiv suburb. Photo: Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP

Zelensky claims gains in south Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky claims his forces have made “rapid and powerful” gains in Ukraine and had retaken “dozens” of villages from Russia.

President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference with the heads of state of France, Germany and Romania, at Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, on 16 June, 2022. – The leaders of major EU powers France, Germany and Italy vowed on 16 June to help Ukraine defeat Russia and to rebuild its shattered cities, in a visit to a war-torn Kyiv suburb. Photo: Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday said his forces were making “rapid and powerful” gains in southern Ukraine and that they had retaken “dozens” of villages from Russia this week.

“The Ukrainian army is quite rapidly and powerfully advancing in the south,” Zelensky said in his daily address on social media, adding that “dozens of settlements” had been recaptured in the south and east.

Some of the territory was taken back in the regions of Kherson, Lugansk and Donetsk, he said, where referendums were held last week on being annexed by Russia.

Kyiv and the West have denounced the referendums as a sham.

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Zelensky cited eight settlements in the southern Kherson region, where Moscow’s forces have retreated in the face of a sweeping Ukrainian counter-offensive, according to maps presented by the Russian defence ministry on Tuesday.

The latest maps revealed by Moscow showed that Russian troops had left many areas in Kherson including along the west bank of the Dnieper River.

In the northeastern Kharkiv region, the mapping indicated that Russian forces had almost entirely abandoned the east bank of the Oskil River where they retained a foothold.

“Our soldiers do not stop. And it’s only a matter of time before we expel the occupier from all of our land,”

Zelensky said.

© Agence France-Presse

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