Zelensky visits Kherson region, part occupied by Russia

AFP , Thursday 23 Mar 2023

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday was visiting the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson partially controlled by Russian forces, after Kyiv's troops captured the regional capital late last year, the presidency said.

A local walks past a building damaged as a result of a shelling in the city of Kherson, on March 14, 2023. ( AFP)


Ukraine forces recaptured Kherson city, the administrative centre of the southern region in November following a strategic withdrawal of Russia forces.

But the region is still partly controlled by Russian forces, who are dug in on the eastern bank of the Dnipro river and routinely shell Kherson city, killing civilians.

"Working trip to Kherson region. The village of Posad Pokrovske, where houses and civilian infrastructural facilities were damaged as a result of Russia's full-scale invasion," Zelensky said in a message on social media.

He said local authorities were restoring essential services like electricity and water in the village and rebuilding a medical centre.

"People are returning," he said in the post, adding that: "I talked to the locals about their problems and needs".

The southern region of Kherson, which gives access to both the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, was captured easily and early by Russian forces in the early days of the invasion launched last February.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin claimed to have captured the region and annexed it in September last year, despite not having full military control over it.

Zelensky in a separate post said he had held a coordination meeting with officials and discussed de-mining and reconstruction in recaptured territory.

The head of Kherson region military administration Oleksandr Prokudin announced Thursday that one person had been killed over the last 24 hours and two injured by Russian forces.

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