Zelensky vows ‘Ukraine will definitely win’ as war grinds on in the Donbas

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The Ukrainian President handed out medals to troops and posed for selfies in what appeared to be an underground shelter, according to a video posted on his Telegram account. Mr Zelensky said that the servicemen were “working flat out” as he praised their abilities and expressed confidence in a final victory.

He said: “Our brave men. Each one of them is working flat out.

“We will definitely hold out! We will definitely win.”

In early March, Russian troops reached the outskirts of Mykolaiv but were then forced back to the eastern and southern parts of the region where fighting continues.

Mr Zelensky’s office confirmed that he had visited the headquarters of the Mykolaiv regional state administration where 37 people were killed by a Russian missile strike at the end of March.

They said: “The President inspected the building of the Mykolaiv regional state administration which was destroyed as a result of a missile strike by Russian forces.”

During his nightly national television address on Friday Mr Zelensky confirmed that the famous medic nicknamed “Taira”, Yuliia Paievska had been released from Russian captivity.

Ms Paievska was captured in the southern city of Mariupol after filming the Russian bombardment of the city.

The footage was smuggled out with the help of two Associated Press journalists who were the last international journalists left in the city. 

One of the journalists managed to escape and hid the footage in a tampon on March 16.

The following day Ms Paievska was captured.

Mr Zelensky confirmed that she was home and vowed to help free “everyone”.

He said: “I’m grateful to everyone who worked for this result. 

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“Taira is already home. We will keep working to free everyone.”

It comes as Ukraine has made slow gains in its mission to liberate the city of Kherson from Russian control.

Kherson, which is less than 70km from Mykolaiv, is strategically important due to its location on the Black Sea.

On Saturday morning, Ukrainian media reported that there had been a car bomb in the city which appears to have carried out by Ukrainian partisans operating independently in the Russian occupied territory.

There has been an increase in Ukrainian partisan activity in the area recently.

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