Moscow has increased its attacks on the southern Ukrainian region since its troops partially withdrew from its western portion this month. Russia’s military seems to be shifting to fortify its position in the eastern area of Kherson in preparation for a possible counteroffensive from Ukraine.
On Monday, Zelensky said Russian troops are “capable of nothing but devastation,” adding that the main topic of his meetings with foreign allies earlier in the day was “Russia’s responsibility for war and terror.”
“What they are doing now against Ukraine is their attempt to take revenge,” Zelensky said in his address. “To take revenge for the fact that Ukrainians have repeatedly defended themselves from them.”
According to a report from The Kyiv Independent, the Kherson city council said 15 residents, including one child, were killed between November 20 and November 25 from Russian shelling in the city. Kherson, the region’s capital, was liberated November 11 after falling to Russian occupation in early March.
The Operational Command South of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported on its Facebook page Monday that in addition to firing at settlements, Russia has been spreading “misinformation” that Ukrainian citizens in newly liberated territories have been “cooperating with the occupiers,” and as a result are being detained by Ukrainian troops. According to the post, Russian forces are attempting to transfer responsibility of the shelling against citizens onto Ukraine’s military.
Ukraine’s armed forces have had a string of successful counteroffensives over the past few months, liberating nearly half of the Russian-occupied land that has been seized since the start of the war. Russian troops still hold ground in its illegally annexed territories in southeastern Ukraine as well as its strategic position along the Black Sea on the Kinburn Spit.
Zelensky has previously promised that Ukraine will retake all of Russian-occupied land, including Crimea, which was illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014. According to an update from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Monday, Russia’s military lost up to 70 percent of its troops in the occupied Luhansk region last week from ongoing Ukraine counteroffensives.
“Ukraine will never be a place for devastation,” Zelensky added during his address. “Ukraine will never accept orders from these ‘comrades’ from Moscow. We will do everything to restore every object, every house, every enterprise destroyed by the occupiers.”
Newsweek hasreached out to Russia’s foreign ministry for comment.
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