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"We will not leave a single trace of Russia on our land," says Ukrainian President Zelenskyy
Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday vowed to take back all lands lost to Russia since the beginning of the war last year on February 24 between the two countries.
In a video message after the completion of 400 days of the Russia-Ukraine war, he said, "Ukraine will win at the front, will win in recovery, will win in restoring justice. We will not leave a single trace of Russia on our land. And we will not leave any enemy unpunished either. We are preparing news about this. This day, like any of the 400 was as active as possible for me." Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Russian troops of carrying out war crimes, pointing to extensive footage and witness accounts.
"Four hundred days of our defence against full-scale aggression. This is a colossal path that we have walked. All together - everyone who fought and fight for Ukraine, who took care and take care of the state and Ukrainians, who helped and helps our logistics, who strengthened and strengthens Ukrainian resilience. Ukraine went through the most terrifying days of that February. We survived this winter as well.
There is a colossal effort behind these words. We passed last spring, which turned the tide of this war in favour of our defence," said Zelenskyy.
Lauding the heroism of Ukrainians, he said, "Last summer and autumn, we proved that the spring liberation of our northern regions was no accident. The battle for Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions, the return of the territories of our Kharkiv region, the return of Kherson, the defence of Bakhmut and Donbas in general - this is the heroism of Ukrainians that the world will not forget. "
The Ukrainian President also said that the country is preparing for the next step and its approach to victory in the war. "We are preparing our next steps, our active actions. We care about preparing the approach to our victory. What is the strength of Ukraine? If your intentions are good, the whole world will be on your side and help you."
He also thanked everyone in the world who stands with Ukraine and believed in the rules of humanity, respect and peace.
"Today, on the 400th day of resistance, full-scale resistance, I want to thank everyone in the world who stands with Ukraine, who shares our interpretation of freedom, who supports our pursuit of justice, who has the same strong conviction that we Ukrainians have the conviction that the world should be based on rules, on civilized rules - on the rules of humanity, respect and peace. That is why Ukraine will win. Because freedom and justice, humanity and respect, peace deserved by the people must prevail," said Zelenskyy.
He also thanked his soldiers and sailors, sergeants and first sergeants and officers and generals, saying, "I thank all our soldiers and sailors, all our sergeants and first sergeants, all our officers and generals. I thank each and everyone who holds this front - the front of protecting the best that humanity has, the front of protecting the best that you and I have - our Ukraine - united, invincible and forever free."
"I thank everyone who is currently fighting! Each and everyone who is fighting to protect themselves and their brothers-in-arms in neighbouring positions! Thank everyone who cares about our brave warriors! Thank you every one who protects our cities and restores normal life in the areas where it was violated by Russia with its aggression and terror!" he added.
Thanking his citizens Zelenskyy added, "I also thank everyone who helps the daughters and sons, wives and husbands, mothers and fathers of our people, soldiers and civilians whose lives were taken away by this war, by Russia!"
Zelenskyy further stated that he is having communications with his commanders, with intelligence, and meetings regarding the internal situation adding that he made another appeal to the parliament of the partner country Austria.
"Communication with commanders, with intelligence, meetings regarding the internal situation. I made another appeal to the parliament of the partner country - to the Austrian Parliament and I thank Austria for the fact that Ukraine was heard. A productive meeting with the delegation of German defence enterprise Rheinmetall AG.
I am thankful to our partners for their willingness to cooperate with us in an even more meaningful way. Tomorrow will also be active - to the maximum. We will do everything so that the day comes sooner when I can thank you. Dear Ukrainians, for our victory! Glory to Ukrainian heroes! Glory to Ukraine!" he said.
Zelenskyy said that Ukraine would "never forgive" Moscow for its occupation of Bucha, a year after the town became a symbol of alleged Russian war crimes.
Russian forces withdrew from Bucha, a commuter town northwest of Kyiv, on Mar 31, 2022, just over a month after Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine and left a trail of death and destruction in their wake.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a new foreign policy doctrine in which the West poses an "existential" threat to Moscow and the Kremlin lies at the centre of a broader Russian civilisation.
Prosecutors in Kyiv say that Russian forces killed about 1,400 civilians around Bucha and that they have identified dozens of Russian soldiers responsible.