In a major blow to Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian army has liberated a crucial village in the southern region of Kherson as the war between Ukraine and Russia continues. The defence ministry in Kyiv posted a video showing the 35th marine brigade hoisting a Ukrainian flag above Davydiv Brid, amid reports of several other nearby villages being recaptured.
Russian forces have already been forced to retreat in Ukraine’s north-east.
They are now being pushed back in the south as well.
In the past 48 hours, Ukrainian forces have pushed south along the west bank of the river, and Russian units have now been forced to pull back from several settlements in the north of Kherson region too.
In his nightly address on Tuesday, Zelensky said that Ukraine’s army was making “quite fast and powerful progress,” adding that Kyiv’s forces had retaken “dozens” of settlements in the four regions supposedly annexed by Russia last week.
He said: “Our soldiers do not stop. And it’s only a matter of time before we expel the occupier from all of our land.”
Ukraine’s defence ministry proclaimed on social media: “The Ukrainian flag flies again over the village of Davydiv Brid.”
Residents filmed Ukrainian soldiers walking through the village.
Ukraine’s deputy interior minister Yevhen Enin said 50 towns and villages had been recaptured and some 3,500 citizens freed in Kherson, but did not say over what period.
READ MORE: Ukraine’s military boasts of UK-supplied ‘Wolfhound’ vehicle
Kherson exiled deputy Mayor Roman Holovnia said: “Many settlements were flattened – some settlements have almost no undestroyed buildings left.”
He added that residents of the city were waiting for Ukrainian forces, in the knowledge they were advancing.
Mr Holovnia said that of the 320,000 people living there before the war, only 100,000 were left