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UKRAINE: Zelensky hails ‘brave’ citizens on 500th day of war

President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed “brave” Ukraine on the 500th day of Russia’s invasion on Saturday, as the war’s toll mounted with six deaths reported in Russian rocket fire.

Zelensky published on social media an undated video clip of a visit to Snake Island in the Black Sea — a symbol of Ukraine’s defiance against Russia.

“Today we are on Snake Island, which will never be conquered by the occupiers, like the whole of Ukraine, because we are the country of the brave,” he said.

“I want to thank from here, from this place of victory, each of our soldiers for these 500 days,” he said in the video, which showed him arriving on the island by boat and leaving flowers.

Finishing a trip to Turkey on Saturday, Zelensky prayed for the victims of the war alongside Patriarch Bartholomew, the leader of the world’s Orthodox, after a regional tour to drum up support ahead of a NATO summit next week.

The UN has documented 9,000 civilian deaths since the start of the war on February 24, 2022, including 500 children, although it estimates the real toll could be significantly higher.

That toll went up again on Saturday as authorities in the eastern Donetsk region said six people were killed by Russian rocket fire in the town of Lyman.

“At around 10:00 am, the Russians struck the town with multiple rocket launchers,” Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on social media, adding: “At least six people were killed and five injured.”

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Naija Times