Zelensky admitted that “about 20% of our territory is under the control of the occupiers, almost 125,000 square kilometers” but that the Ukrainian army continues to fight for defense.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted this Thursday that Russia controls about 20% of Ukraine’s territory, or about 125,000 square kilometers, in a video intervention in the Luxembourg parliament.
Today, about 20% of our territory is under the control of the occupants, almost 125,000 square kilometers. It is much more than the area of all the Benelux countries together”, said Zelensky, referring to the group formed by Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
In the message distributed by the Ukrainian presidency and quoted by the Spanish EFE and French agencies AFP, Zelensky said that, by comparison, Russian forces controlled about 43,000 square kilometers before the February 24 invasion.
Zelensky was referring to the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, when a separatist war also began in Donetsk and Lugansk, in the Donbass, with the support of Moscow.
The Ukrainian leader said that since February 24, Russian troops have entered 3,620 localities or villages in the country, of which 1,017 have been liberated by Ukrainian forces, which “shall release” the rest.
“We are fighting practically the entire Russian army to defend ourselves. All Russian armed forces are participating in the fighting,” Zelensky told Luxembourg deputies.
Zelensky reiterated his call for international support for Ukraine’s defense and said that without the supply of heavy weapons, the country is not capable of dealing with the Russian offensive.
Fighting has intensified in recent days, particularly in the Donetsk region, with the main target being the city of Severodonetsk, according to local governor Serhiy Haidai.
“They control part of the city, but not all,” Haidai told Ukrainian media on Thursday, according to EFE.
Haidai also said that Ukrainian troops had repelled attacks on Bobrove and Ustyniva, where more than 50 buildings were damaged.
“Our troops are resisting the enemy, who continues to destroy infrastructure and industry,” said the governor.
Haidai accused Russian forces of doing their best to ensure there is no chance of reconstruction.
“They don’t want schools, hospitals, factories, and jobs here. Unfortunately, not everyone understood this,” he said.
The information about the war released by the Ukrainian and Russian authorities cannot immediately be independently confirmed.
Source: with agencies