Zelensky visits one of the liberated towns

“I want to thank you for saving our people, our hearts, our children and our future,” Zelensky said while visiting Iseum on Wednesday. (Photo: Zelensky Telegram Channel / Ukrainian Government)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the newly liberated Isyum in the northeastern Kharkiv region on Wednesday, five days after the country’s forces recaptured the city.

Pictures posted on the Facebook page showed Zelensky’s military unit at a ceremony in the main square to raise the Ukrainian flag over the city’s administrative building. Hanna Maliar, Deputy Defense Minister, was also present.

“Before that, we were always looking for the blue sky. Today, when we look up, we are looking for only one thing – the Ukrainian flag,” Zelensky said in a message on the presidential Telegram channel.

“Our blue-yellow flag is already flying in unoccupied Izyum. It will fly in all cities and towns of Ukraine. We are moving only in one direction – forward and to victory.”

“I want to thank you for saving our people, our hearts, our children and our future,” Zelensky said, according to a statement posted on the presidency’s website.

He said, “It has been very difficult for you these past few months. So he asks you to take care of yourselves, because you are the most valuable thing we have.”

“It may be possible to occupy the territory of our state temporarily. But it is certainly impossible to occupy our people, the Ukrainian people,” he said.
The ceremony observed a minute of silence in memory of those killed during the military operations.

Ukrainian forces recaptured Izyum on Saturday, in a major strategic blow to Russia’s military offensive in the east.

Izyum, located near the border between the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, was under Russian occupation for more than five months and became a major center of operations for the invading army.

Moscow used Izyum as a launching point for attacks in the south of the Donetsk region and Kobyansk, about 50 kilometers north of Izyum, as a railroad hub to resupply its forces.

Russia’s collapse in northeastern Ukraine has unleashed the anger of Putin loyalists, who have condemned the Kremlin’s abandonment of Kharkiv in a rare display of vitriol.

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