Zelenskyy Claims Russia Occupies 20% of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy | Image by Oleh Dubyna

Russian forces now occupy about 20% of Ukrainian territory, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy made the claim in a video address to the Parliament of Luxembourg, saying the amount of occupied territory is larger than Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg combined.

The Ukrainian president also said tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict and over 2,000 settlements are still under Russian control. The frontline now extends about 620 miles, according to Zelenskyy.

His words came with a warning and a call for action.

“If we win this war, all Europeans will be able to continue enjoying their freedom,” Zelenskyy said. “But if this one person (Russian President Vladimir Putin) who wants to destroy any freedom in Ukraine and Europe prevails, then dark times will come for everyone on the continent.”

Zelenskyy concluded his remarks by referencing the National Motto of Luxembourg, “Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn,” which translates to “We want to stay what we are.”

He said the motto is what Ukraine is fighting for as well.

The address to Luxembourg comes as intense fighting continues in the Donbas region, according to FOX news. Russian forces have launched a ground offensive in an effort to take over Luhansk.

“The Russian army has already destroyed almost the entire Donbas. Once one of the most powerful industrial centers in Europe is simply devastated,” Zelenskyy said. “The occupiers are destroying it city after city.”

Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, twin cities in Luhansk, continue to hold out and represent a roadblock to complete Russian control of the region.

Separatist leadership told Russian media that Russian forces control about one-third of Sievierodonetsk. The UK Defense Ministry, however, estimates that over 50% of the city has fallen.

The Russian military forces are currently attempting to surround Lysychansk to take control of the city, but ground fighting and air assaults are slowing their charge.

If the Russian forces take control of Luhansk, the next target would presumably be the Donetsk Oblast to the west, according to FOX News. Donetsk is the other province in the Donbas region.

If the Kremlin succeeds in capturing the Donbas, they may re-attempt an assault on Kyiv, Zelenskyy said. Capturing the capital would give them almost total control over the country.

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