The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has visited the military in the Kharkiv region, on the nation’s battered eastern front line.
It was the president’s official trip outside of the Kyiv region since the Russia’s full-scale military operation against Ukraine on February 24.
President Zelenskyy also said to soldiers, “I just want to thank each one of you for your service towards nation.” After, he sacked the local security chief for “not defending the city.”
Russia has continued shelling Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city-in recent days after a fortnight of comparative quiet.
Ukraine’s second-largest city faced severe bombardment in the battle’s initial months, with pictures showing tower blocks flattened to trash.
Russian army were slowly pushed back from its nearby towns during April & May, provoking some who had fled Kharkiv to return, along with the metro to reopen for the first time since the invasion.
But the city remains within range of Russian artillery. Several loud explosions were heard in the city after Zelenskyy’s visit.
President Zelenskyy’s office posted a video on Telegram with the caption: “2,229 buildings have been destroyed in Kharkiv and the region. We will restore, rebuild and bring back life. In Kharkiv and all other towns and villages where evil came.”
The president said he had fired Roman Dudin, the chief of the Security Service of Ukraine for the Kharkiv region, “for the fact that he did not work on the defence of the city from the first days of the full-scale war, but thought only about himself”.