Zelenskiy visits troops fighting in northeastern Ukraine

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited troops fighting in the northeast on Tuesday and met commanders to discuss the battlefield situation on one of the hottest fronts of the war with Russia.

Zelenskiy did not give the exact location of his visit but said he had met brigades fighting in the Kupiansk-Lyman sector in the northeast, where the Ukrainian military says Russian forces have been staging attacks.

“We met with brigade and battalion commanders to discuss the battlefield situation, pressing issues, and needs,” he said on Z, formerly known as Twitter, above photos of him meeting soldiers in a poorly lit room.

“Each of our combat brigades, each warrior who destroys the occupiers with every step forward, asserts that the Ukrainian victory will surely come. They are the power. I thank them for their service!”

The president’s office also posted video footage showing Zelenskiy at various times during the visit shaking hands with troops, sitting at a long table with commanders and being briefed by an officer standing in front of a map.

Zelenskiy, who has regularly visited troops since Moscow’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, also handed out awards.

Thanking them for their service, he urged them not to lose “the motivation with which you so firmly defend the sovereignty of our state and the future of our generations.”

Since Kyiv began a counteroffensive in the east and south four months ago, Ukrainian troops have made only gradual gains but Zelenskiy has rejected criticism abroad that the advance has been marred by poor military strategy.

(Reporting by Yuliia Dysa, Editing by Timothy Heritage)