Ukraine's Zelensky meets troops near eastern front

Addressing servicemen later in Kyiv, Zelensky said he had spent the day with troops in Donbas, the theater of the heaviest battles, and in the Kharkiv region.

 Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky awards a service member at a position near a frontline on the Day of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine December 6, 2022. (photo credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky awards a service member at a position near a frontline on the Day of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine December 6, 2022.
(photo credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited troops close to the front lines in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday.

Addressing servicemen later in Kyiv, Zelensky said he had spent the day with troops in Donbas, the theater of the heaviest battles, and in the Kharkiv region, where Ukrainians have retaken swaths of territory from Russian forces.

"Thousands of Ukrainians have given their lives so that the day might come when not a single occupying soldier will remain in our land and when all our people will be free," Zelensky, clad in his trademark khaki green, told the gathering.

On the front lines

On the battlefields of eastern, northeastern and southern Ukraine, Russian forces kept up their shelling of towns and villages, the Ukrainian military said late on Tuesday.

 Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky visits service members at a hospital on the Day of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine December 6, 2022. (credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS) Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky visits service members at a hospital on the Day of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine December 6, 2022. (credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Six people were killed as Donetsk came under rocket and artillery fire, the Russian-installed city mayor, Alexander Kulemzin, reported in his Telegram channel.

"Look what they have done," said a resident named Irina, gesturing towards the building where her flat had been destroyed. "There are people living over there ... Go in the fields and fight each other over there, not here."

Dmytro Zhyvytsky, the governor of the Sumy region on the Russian border, said several people were wounded when Russian forces fired 226 shells on seven communities during the day.

War crimes investigators are looking into the deaths of hundreds of civilians since the beginning of the near 10-month conflict. Russia denies targeting civilians during what it calls a special operation to rid Ukraine of dangerous nationalists.