Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukraine has taken back 6,000 sq km from Russia in just 12 days

President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed his troops have liberated over 6,000 sq km of Ukraine’s territory in the southern and eastern parts of the country in just 12 days of September.

Since its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, Russia has captured an estimated one-fifth of the country’s overall 600,000 sq km of territory.

After 200 days of war, Mr Zelensky in a late-night address on Monday, said: “From the beginning of September until today, our warriors have liberated more than 6,000 sq km of the territory of Ukraine – in the east and south.”

Vladimir Putin’s troops had made the biggest inroads in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine after capturing the crucial port city of Mariupol.

“The movement of our troops continues,” Mr Zelensky added.

Mr Zelensky on Sunday posted a video of Ukrainian soldiers hoisting the national flag over Chkalovske, a town in Kharkiv Oblast which they reclaimed from the Russians in the counter offensive.

The Russian president and his senior officials have largely remained silent over what is touted to be Moscow’s worst defeat since April after it lost 3,000 sq km of territory in just five days in north-eastern Ukraine. Moscow claims it has only ordered its troops to withdraw in order to “regroup”.

“The special military operation continues. And it will continue until the goals that were originally set are achieved,” said Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman.

“The economic blitzkrieg tactics, the onslaught they were counting on, did not work.”

US secretary of state Antony Blinken said Ukrainian forces have made “significant progress” with support from the west.

“What they have done is very methodically planned out and of course, it’s benefited from significant support from the United States and many other countries in terms of making sure that Ukraine has in its hands the equipment it needs to prosecute this counteroffensive,” Mr Blinken said at a news conference.

Mr Zelensky urged the West to speed up deliveries of weapons systems for the Ukrainian troops to maintain the pace of their counter attack.

“Why is the biggest source of terror in the world – Russia – still able to wage this war? And why can it wage the war so cruelly and cynically? There is only one reason – insufficient pressure on Russia,” he said.

The president added that Ukraine and the west must “strengthen cooperation to defeat Russian terror”.

Leave a Comment