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Ukraine's counteroffensive against Russia ‘moving forward’: Zelensky

07.07.2023 07:30
Ukraine’s president has said that his country’s forces have seized the initiative and are “moving forward” in their summer counteroffensive against Russia.
Ukraines President Volodymyr Zelensky meets reporters in Prague, the Czech Republic, on Thursday, July 6, 2023.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky meets reporters in Prague, the Czech Republic, on Thursday, July 6, 2023.PAP/EPA/STRINGER

Volodymyr Zelensky made the assessment at a news conference in Prague, the Czech Republic, on Thursday night, The Kyiv Independent website reported. 

Ukraine’s head of state met the media alongside Czech President Petr Pavel, after their talks earlier in the day, according to Polish state news agency PAP.

Referring to Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive to reclaim territory from the occupying Russian troops, Zelensky said: "We are advancing. We have the initiative now. The offensive is not fast, that's a fact. Nonetheless, we are moving forward — not backwards, like the Russians."

Ukraine’s leader arrived Prague on Thursday for talks with President Pavel, Prime Minister Petr Fiala, and other top Czech officials, focusing on defence support, the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear station in southeastern Ukraine, and NATO’s summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, next week, The Kyiv Independent reported.

Zelensky later took to the Telegram social messaging app to thank the Czech Republic for  supporting Ukraine, including by backing sanctions against Russia, providing military aid and  supporting Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union and NATO.

He said: “The Czech people are truly helping to bring victory closer."

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic’s Pavel said at Thursday’s news conference: “Supporting Ukraine will always be our goal. We want Ukraine to win and all of us to win. We want to preserve the values on which our society is based."

He added: “I believe that Ukraine should be supported in its aspiration to join the EU and NATO. We will do everything for this. We will try to ensure that the negotiation process is launched by the end of this year and that it is clearly stated that Europe will be with Ukraine in the future.”

Earlier on Thursday, Ukraine’s Zelensky also visited Sofia for talks with Bulgarian leaders as he seeks to bolster support for his country’s bid for NATO membership, ahead of the Vilnius summit scheduled to start on July 11, The Kyiv Independent reported. 

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Friday is day 499 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, The Kyiv Independent, president.gov.ua