Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with soldiers on the frontline and internally displaced Ukrainians during a trip to Zaporizhzhia region on Sunday.
Zelensky “visited the frontline positions of the Ukrainian military,” taking the opportunity to acquaint himself “with the operational situation on the frontline of defense,” a statement from the Ukrainian Presidency said.
The president spoke with the soldiers, presenting them with state awards and thanking them for their service, according to the statement.
“I want to thank you for your great work, for your service, for protecting all of us, our state. I am grateful to everyone. I want to wish you and your families good health. Take care of yourselves,” Zelensky told the frontline soldiers.
He also paid a trip to a sanatorium where internally displaced Ukrainians, forced to flee their homes, have been receiving shelter and medical care, according to a separate statement from the Ukrainian Presidency.
Some more context: Almost 12 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Zelensky told lawmakers in Luxembourg on Thursday.
I understand that everyone wants to return home. And this housing, no matter how comfortable it is, cannot be compared with your own home. There is nowhere better than home,” Zelensky told the IDPs on Sunday.
IDPs who had traveled from the southern city of Mariupol recounted to the president the “tragic events they had to endure due to the Russian invasion, “appealing to him for help with recovering lost documents and issuing death certificates of relatives who died in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the statement.
Zelensky invited them to put forward suggestions for “legislative changes” that could be made to simplify the procedures for obtaining these documents.
He assured the IDPs that all those who have lost their homes will be provided with “comfortable housing,” according to the statement.
Finally, Zelensky gave a gift to 8-year-old boy, Yehor Kravtsov, who kept a diary while living under shelling in Mariupol. Yehor, whose “Mariupol Diary” writings were published on social networks, shared his experiences of the city’s bombing with Zelensky.