Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the formerly Russian-occupied city of Kherson on Monday.
In a video circulating on Telegram, Zelensky told a group of reporters that he thought it was necessary to visit the city.
“The military takes risks every day, journalists take risks,” he said. “I think it is necessary to be here and talk about Kherson residents, to support people. To make them feel that we are not only talking about it, but we are really returning, really raising our flag.”
“I would also like, in a human way, to get the emotion, the energy from people. It is motivating.”
Zelensky said that “peace for our country is all our country, all our territory.”
“We are step by step coming to our country, to all the temporarily occupied territories,” he told the media during an unannounced visit to the city. “And of course it’s a pity, but it’s a long way, a difficult way, because this war took the best heroes of our country.”
“We are going forward. We are ready for peace. But our peace for our country is all our country, all our territory," added Zelensky.
"We respect the law and respect sovereignty of all the countries. But now we are speaking about our country. That’s why we are fighting against Russian aggression.”
Some context: Crowds have been celebrating the liberation of Kherson city after Ukrainian forces swept into the regional capital and Russian troops retreated to the east on Friday.
But life remains far from normal, with authorities warning residents to be wary of explosives littering the city, and Russian forces still nearby — just across the strategically important Dnipro River.