Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has visited troops on his country’s eastern frontline to mark the Day of Marines – an annual national holiday to celebrate the Ukrainian Navy.
A post on the presidency’s website said Zelensky visited service personnel on the Vuhledar-Maryinka defense line in the Donetsk region and presented several state awards for courage and bravery to fighters there.
"Every day on the battlefield, the Ukrainian marines prove that they are a powerful force that destroys the enemy, liberates Ukrainian lands, and performs the most difficult tasks in the most difficult conditions,” Zelensky said.
Zelensky’s trip to Ukraine’s east comes after a series of whirlwind trips abroad last week, when he secured pledges to boost Ukraine’s military arsenal during stops in Italy, Germany, France and the United Kingdom and travelled to the G7 summit in Japan to appeal to the world’s major industrial democracies to remain united against Russian aggression.
The Donetsk region is also home to the embattled city of Bakhmut, which Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on Saturday to have captured in its entirety. However, his claims have been contested by Ukrainian officials – including Zelensky, who told the G7 summit on Sunday that “we are keeping on, we are fighting” in Bakhmut.