Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Russian troops to “flee” or turn themselves in after Ukraine launched an offensive in the Russian-occupied region of Kherson on Monday, August 29.
In a video released on Telegram, Zelensky said Ukraine would take back Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, as well as southern and eastern regions claimed by Russia during the ongoing invasion.
“Ukraine is returning its own,” he said, according to English subtitles on the video. “And it will return the Kharkiv region, Luhansk region, Donetsk region, Zaporizhzhia region, Kherson region, Crimea; definitely our entire water area of the Black Sea and the sea of Azov, from Zmiinyi Island to the Kerch Strait,” he said. “This will happen. This is ours.”
“There will be no place for them on Ukrainian land,” he said, referring to Russian troops. “If they want to survive, it is time for the Russian military to flee.”
He said Russian troops who are “afraid” to cross the border back to Russia should “surrender”.
The address was released hours after Ukraine said it breached Russian lines in the southern region of Kherson.
The region has been occupied by Russian forces since early in the war, and infrastructure there has become a common target for Ukrainian forces, including a hydroelectric plant and strategic bridges in Nova Khakhovka and Kherson city. Credit: Volodymyr Zelensky via Storyful