President Zelenskyy Hands Out Bravery Medals To Wounded Soldiers During Hospital Visit
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Wounded soldiers in Ukraine have been rewarded for their efforts with medals of bravery from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. You can watch footage from his hospital visit below:
The Ukrainian president visited soldiers in a military hospital in the Kyiv region on Sunday (13 March), following more than two weeks of fighting in the country.
More than 100 servicemen were honoured with the title Heroes of Ukraine for their bravery, including 17 soldiers who were honoured posthumously.
Images shared by Ukraine's Ministry of Defence showed the President talking and taking pictures with soldiers in the hospital, as well as speaking to staff.
Among those recognised with the title and medal was senior lieutenant Hutsul Volodymyr Olesksandrovych, who destroyed 25 units of Russian military equipment and killed about 300 invading soldiers after Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered troops across the border, The Independent reports.
Zelenskyy offered a morale boost to those recovering from their injuries, saying (translated): “Guys, get well soon. I believe that the best gift for your statement will be our common victory!”
The day before his hospital visit, Zelenskyy said at least 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers have died defending the country from the invasion.
Officials in Moscow have claimed to have lost several hundred Russian soldiers amid the invasion, thought Ukraine has claimed the figure is much higher.
Zelenskyy said a member of the Russian military is among those being treated at the hospital, saying the soldier is 'in the same ward with our defenders' and 'gets the same aid from the same doctors' despite fighting 'against us, against Ukraine'.
The doctors saved him, Zelenskyy said, 'because they are people, not savages'.
The President also condemned the ongoing war in a video address, saying: "They are bombing [Mariupol] 24 hours a day, launching missiles. It is hatred. They kill children.
"The fact that the whole Ukrainian people resist these invaders has already gone down in history, but we do not have the right to let up our defence, no matter how difficult it may be for us."
Zelenskyy appealed to the West once again on Sunday to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, speaking on what he dubbed 'the 18th day of our war for life, for Ukraine, for independence'.
He described having known the country was at risk of war in making a 'clear warning' to NATO leaders that conflict would begin if there were 'no tough preventive sanctions against Russia,' adding: "We were right."
He said: "I have been saying for a long time that Nord Stream is a weapon that will hit Europe. Now it's obvious.
"And now I repeat again - if you do not close our sky, it is only a matter of time before Russian missiles fall on your territory. NATO territory. On the homes of citizens of NATO countries."
Western leaders have expressed concerns that enforcing a no-fly zone will lead to conflict between Russia and the West.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.