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Ukraine intends to push Russia entirely out, Zelenskyy says as counteroffensive continues

Ukraine’s goal is to rid Russia’s presence from its entire country, Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview that aired Sunday.

“Our main goal is to de-occupy our whole territory,” Zelenskyy said through a translator on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” “The main goal is de-occupation. We just cannot allow Russia to continue the same occupation that they started back in 2014.”

Ukraine has mounted a counteroffensive across the south and east in recent days, including in the southern region of Kherson.

Zelenskyy referred to Russia’s occupation as “cannibalism,” but said the source of Ukraine’s strength lies in its willingness to hold out. He met with host Zakaria in an outdoor walking interview, which Zakaria pointed to as significant, given the threats on Zelenskyy’s life.

“We have no other way, and it’s not our weakness. I believe it’s our strength. Because Russia does have a way out. They can go back home. We have only this home to defend,” Zelenskyy said of his nation’s military efforts.

The war stretched to its 200-day mark Sunday, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion in February.

“I would like to immediately state that I’m grateful to President Biden and the White House and the bipartisan support,” Zelenskyy told Zakaria, adding: “Without this support, we will not be able to return our lands.”

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