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Ukraine’s Zelenskyy vows to hoist national flag in occupied territories

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed on Tuesday to raise Ukraine’s national flag in currently Russian-occupied parts of the country.

Mr Zelenskyy made his comments at a flag raising ceremony in the capital Kyiv, a day ahead of Ukraine’s Independence Day on Wednesday commemorating freedom from Soviet rule.

“Blue-and-yellow flag will wave again at home, where it has a right to be. In all temporarily occupied cities, villages of Ukraine,” he said.

“In those occupied temporarily, it will wave forever. In Melitopol – over the Square of Victory where a flag of those who will lose this war cannot be. The blue-and-yellow flag will be raised there. In Kherson – over the Square of Freedom,” Mr Zelenskyy continued.

His words were followed by a moment of silence in honour of those who have lost their lives to the current conflict with Russia.

Russia carried out artillery and air strikes in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine’s General Staff said on Tuesday, where fighting near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has raised fears of a catastrophic nuclear incident.

Kyiv has banned public celebrations of Independence Day, citing a threat of more attacks.

The US embassy in Kyiv also warned in a statement of Russian plans to strike civilian and government infrastructure in the coming days.

Russia launched on February 24 what it calls a “special military operation” to demilitarise its smaller neighbour and protect Russian-speaking communities. Ukraine and its Western backers accuse Moscow of waging an imperial-style war of conquest.

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