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Zaluzhnyi publishes video of his frontline trip for first time, says counteroffensive 'continues as planned'

by Dinara Khalilova June 20, 2023 12:16 AM 1 min read
Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi during his visit to the frontline positions of Ukrainian troops. (Screenshot from a video published by Zaluzhnyi on Facebook on June 19, 2023)
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Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi published a video of his visit to the frontline positions of Ukrainian troops for the first time.

"Despite the fierce resistance of the occupiers, our soldiers are doing everything possible to liberate Ukrainian territory. The operation continues as planned," reads Zaluzhnyi's Facebook post.

The commander said he had met with soldiers performing "the most difficult tasks in the areas of the fiercest battles." A sign showing the date of June 17, 2023, is seen in the video.

Ukraine's long-awaited counteroffensive is underway in Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk oblasts. So far, eight settlements have been confirmed as liberated by Ukrainian forces.

According to Zaluzhnyi, Russia has set up a system of fortifications with dense terrain mining and prepared "a large number" of reserves to prevent Ukraine's forces from advancing further.

Zaluzhnyi's post comes a day after Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claimed that Ukraine's most senior commander might be abroad without providing any evidence.

Russian state-owned media outlets and other propaganda channels have repeatedly shared baseless allegations of Zaluzhnyi's injuries or disappearances.

Counteroffensive underway: ‘We overestimated Russians and underestimated ourselves’
Editor’s Note: The Kyiv Independent introduces soldiers interviewed for the story by their first names or callsigns due to security reasons. DONETSK OBLAST – Islam’s mind was empty of thoughts and feelings as he crawled carefully towards the Russian trenches near Siversk, with grenades prepared. “…
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