Published: 2022-11-14 16:45
Last Updated: 2022-12-01 14:18
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday visited the newly liberated city of Kherson in southern Ukraine after Russian forces retreated from the strategic hub near the Black Sea, according to AFP.
The Ukrainian presidency distributed images of him singing the national anthem, holding his hand over his chest as the country's blue and yellow flag was hoisted next to the city's main administrative building.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman denied, however, that the Ukrainian leader's visit had any impact on the status of the Kherson region, which Moscow formally annexed into Russia at a ceremony last month.
"It's important to be here," Zelensky told reporters in the city as his office released images of him meeting Kherson residents and military officials.
"We should speak here... support the people so that they feel that we are not just talking, not just making promises but really returning and really raising our flag," he added.
Late Sunday, Zelensky said Ukrainian forces found evidence of hundreds of new "war crimes" carried out by Russians in Kherson.
His subsequent visit came just days after Ukrainian troops entered the city -- the Kherson region's administrative center -- after Russia pulled back its forces on Friday.