Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited newly liberated Izium within the northeastern area of Kharkiv on Wednesday, 5 days after the nation’s forces recaptured the town.
Pictures on the Fb web page of a military unit confirmed Zelensky at a ceremony in the principle sq. to lift the Ukrainian flag over the town’s administrative constructing. Hanna Maliar, the Deputy Minister of Protection, was additionally current.
“Earlier, once we seemed up, we at all times seemed for the blue sky. In the present day, once we search for, we’re in search of just one factor — the flag of Ukraine,” Zelensky mentioned in a submit on the presidential Telegram channel.
“Our blue-yellow flag is already flying within the de-occupied Izium. And it is going to be so in each Ukrainian metropolis and village. We’re transferring in just one route — ahead and in the direction of victory.”
“I need to thanks for saving our individuals, our hearts, youngsters and future,” Zelensky mentioned, in line with a press release launched on the Presidential web site.
“It has been extraordinarily tough for you in current months. Due to this fact, I ask you to care for yourselves, as a result of you’re the most useful asset we’ve got,” he mentioned.
“It could be doable to quickly occupy the territories of our state. However it’s undoubtedly inconceivable to occupy our individuals, the Ukrainian individuals,” he mentioned.
There was a minute’s silence on the ceremony to recollect those that had been misplaced throughout army operations.
Ukrainian forces took again management of Izium on Saturday, marking an enormous strategic blow to Russia’s army assault within the east.
Izium, which sits close to the border between the Kharkiv and Donetsk areas, was beneath Russian occupation for over 5 months and have become an essential hub for the invading army.
Moscow was utilizing Izium as a launching pad for assaults southward into the Donetsk area and Kupyansk, some 30 miles to the north of Izium, as a rail hub to resupply its forces.
Russia’s collapse in northeastern Ukraine sparked fury from Putin loyalists, who condemned the Kremlin’s abandonment of Kharkiv in a uncommon show of stinging criticism.
CNN’s Ivana Kottasová, Tim Lister, Yulia Kesaieva, Denis Lapin, Josh Pennington and Victoria Butenko contributed reporting.