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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits besieged city of Lysychansk as fighting rages


Amid intense fighting between his country’s troops and Russian forces, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Lysychansk and Soledar.

Since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, this was perhaps Zelensky’s closest visit to the front line to date.

In his video speech, Zelensky said: “I went with the head of (my) office to the east. We were in Lysychansk and Soledar.”

“What you all deserve is victory – that’s the most important thing. But not at any cost,” he added.

Lysychansk is only a few kilometers south of Sievierodonetsk, the largest in the Lugansk region that is not under Russian control.

“The armed forces have cleared half of Severodonetsk and are advancing,” regional governor Sergiy Gaiday said.

Read also | According to a Russian state media reporter, a Russian general was killed in eastern Ukraine

Supporting the “true heroes” of his country, Zelensky said, “I want to thank you for your great work, for your service, for protecting us all, our state.”

Defying Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warnings against supplying Kyiv with advanced weapons, the UK said it would follow the US and send long-range missile systems to Ukraine.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the M270 launchers he will supply to Kyiv “will provide a significant increase in the capabilities of Ukrainian forces”.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 7:06am on Thursday June 16th, 2022