Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Russia is desperate to occupy eastern and southern Ukraine. In a video message late Saturday night, he said, “What is the goal of the Russian army now?” They want to establish their rule in eastern and southern Ukraine.
In the video, Zelensky addresses the people of Ukraine: Protect our freedom, our territory and ourselves.
Zelensky praised Ukrainian forces for protecting Mariupol, an important southern port city in Ukraine. Over the past few weeks, however, the strategically important city has been reduced to rubble by the relentless bombardment and shelling by Russian forces.
The president said Ukraine’s resistance in other Ukrainian cities, including Mariupol, had weakened the Russian military.
Russia, meanwhile, has announced that it will significantly reduce military operations in and around the capital, Kiev, and to focus on eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the country’s deputy defense minister has claimed that Ukrainian forces have recaptured the capital Kiev and its environs. He said Russia had withdrawn its troops from major cities, making it easier to occupy the area.