Zelensky Visits Heavily Damaged Kharkiv in First Trip Outside of Kyiv

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky visited troops in the Kharkiv region, on the country’s besieged eastern front line, on May 29, in what was reported as his first official trip outside Kyiv since the Russian invasion began on February 24.

Footage released by Zelensky shows him in a bullet-proof vest, speaking to military and regional leaders and surveying ruins in Kharkiv city. Other footage released on Sunday shows Zelensky presenting troops in the region with awards and honors.

Zelensky said the 2,229 destroyed houses in the Kharkiv region would be restored.

Local officials said 31 percent of the region’s territory was temporarily occupied, while 5 percent had been liberated from Russian forces, according to local reports of the meetings held.

In a video address on Sunday evening, Zelensky said he fired the local head of Ukraine’s security and intelligence service for putting personal interests above defending Ukraine. Zelensky said law enforcement officers would investigate. Credit: Volodymyr Zelensky via Storyful

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