Ukraine's Zelensky visits front line outside Sievierodonetsk as Ukraine claims another Russian general

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited frontline troops and Ukrainian civilians in eastern and southern Ukraine on Sunday, including in areas under heavy Russian attack. In Zaporizhzhia, a city in the southeast, Zelensky met mayors of some occupied towns and "Mariupol residents who managed to leave the city alive and with children," he said Sunday night. In the Donbas region, Zelensky visited the city of Lysychansk in Luhansk oblast and the town of Soledar in Donetsk oblast.

Lysychansk is the western twin city to Sievierodonetsk, the focus of Russia's invading army and Ukraine's last stronghold in Luhansk. Soledar, just west of Lysychansk, has also been under heavy Russian attack. "I am proud of everyone I met, shook hands with, communicated with and supported. Something was brought for the military, but I will not detail it," Zelensky said in his nightly address. "And I brought something from them — to you. It is important: confidence and strength."

See more

Zelensky's "willingness to take personal risk to visit soldiers in the field, and get his own sense of how military operations are unfolding," is important and serves several purposes, from allowing him to "get a feel for the morale and capability of his military in the field" to demonstrating he "remains comfortable in placing his life in the hands of his military," says war analyst Mick Ryan, a retired Australian general.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

It also differentiates Zelensky from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ryan adds. "I am pretty sure that Putin will not be accepting invitations to visit the poorly fed and led — but well armed — Russian troops in Ukraine at any point in the near future."

And Russia continues to take heavy losses, including yet another general, Maj. Gen. Roman Kutuzov, reportedly killed Sunday near Mykolaivka in Luhansk, outside Popasna, U.S. think tank the Institute for the Study of War reports, citing Russian Telegram channels.

"Even as Russian forces continue to pour equipment and troops into the Sievierodonetsk-Lysychansk area, Ukrainian forces have conducted a successful counterattack in Sievierodonetsk in the last 48 hours and pushed Russian troops back to the eastern outskirts of the city and out of southern settlements," at least temporarily, ISW adds in its nightly assessment. "The ability of Ukrainian forces to successfully counterattack in Sievierodonetsk, the Kremlin's current priority area of operations, further indicates the declining combat power of Russian forces in Ukraine."

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.