KYIV: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday said he visited troops at southern frontline village Robotyne, which Kyiv retook from Russian forces last summer but is again under heavy attack.

Kyiv recaptured the small village in the southern Zaporizhzhia region in August last year in what it hailed as a major success in the counter-offensive against Russian forces.

Robotyne has since been relentlessly attacked by Russian troops and is one of the main hotspots on the southern front.

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“Zaporizhzhia region. Robotyne. The location of the 65th Mechanised Brigade. I spoke with the defenders, thanked them and presented state awards,” Zelensky said on social media. “It is an honour to be here today.”

Video posted on Facebook showed the president in uniform meeting soldiers in a dark room that looked like an underground cellar.

“I have the great honour to be here today, to reward you, because you have such a difficult and decisive mission on your shoulders to repel the enemy and win this war,” Zelensky told fighters.

“I wish you victory, I want to reward you and I wish you to do everything to achieve this victory sooner,” he said.

The 65th brigade led the assault on the village last year.

While the recapture of Robotyne was hailed as a success of Kyiv’s counter-offensive, Ukraine’s bid to claw back territory lost to Moscow has since slowed.


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