Ukraine President Praises Troops in Visit to Southern Front Line
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the front line of the southern war zone and praised the country’s troops, handing out medals and posing for selfies. He was speaking to soldiers from the Mykolaiv region, near the eastern border with Russia. His visit comes as the Russian military is advancing on Ukrainian territory, and the country is fighting back to ensure the security of its southern frontline.
The Ukrainian military continues to be a key component in protecting the country. On April 15 the capital of Kyiv was hit by powerful explosions. The Russian Defense Ministry said its troops and Kalibr sea-based long-range missiles had hit a “military” factory. The Ukrainian presidency confirmed that explosives were heard in the Vasylkiv area outside the capital. Other cities targeted include the eastern city of Kharkiv and the southern city of Kherson. Britain’s Defense Ministry announced that Russia was pulling back its reserve forces near Ukraine’s borders, but this operational pause has not materialized, according to Ukrainian officials in the Donbas.
In recent weeks, President Zelenskyy has visited the eastern city of Kharkiv, which was the scene of heavy fighting. In the south, fighting has also erupted in the Mykolaiv region, where 37 people were killed in a missile attack. In early March, Russian forces reached the outskirts of the city but were forced to retreat.
Ukraine has been desperate for long-range weapons in eastern Ukraine, where Russia has steadily consolidated its territory. The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told NBC News on Monday that two American veterans may be facing the death penalty. However, Peskov did not say exactly what this meant. He said it depends on the investigation.
The Ukrainian military has successfully repelled the Russians’ advance, while their counterparts have not. The two sides exchanged dozens of missiles and shells in recent days, and they have become an important part of the conflict. Russia has also retaliated against the Ukrainian army and has repeatedly threatened to attack again. But the Ukrainian president praised the troops’ efforts to stabilize the conflict and protect civilians. Western deliveries of technically advanced rocket systems also helped stabilize the situation.
During the Battle of Debaltseve in 2015, the Russian military failed to provide its troops with medical equipment. The military compared the Russian first aid kits to higher quality Ukrainian supplies. They also blamed the lack of volunteer support for the troops. But their efforts were not enough. In addition, the Ukrainian military is also lacking in funds and other equipment. And the president said that this situation is only temporary.
While the war continues, the Ukrainian government is focusing on protecting civilians. Its government has been forced to evacuate about 1,000 civilians from Russian-held territory in the northern Kharkiv region. About a third of the city is in Russian hands. However, the president visited Mariupol in April and praised the troops’ efforts to protect civilians. The British prime minister also paid a surprise visit to Kyiv. It was Johnson’s first major Western official to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February.