Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky has visited more than 100 soldiers injured during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, awarding them medals for their bravery.
The president who has received widespread praise for the way he’s led his country during the over two weeks war, visited a military hospital in the Kyiv region on Sunday, March 13, to honour the 106 servicemen – 17 posthumously – with the title ‘Heroes of Ukraine’.
He gave the soldiers medals to boost morale while they recover from injuries sustained while fighting Russia’s troops.
Hutsul Volodymyr Olesksandrovych, a senior lieutenant, was one of the men awarded the title and a medal.
He was commemorated for destroying 25 units of Russian military equipment and killing about 300 invading soldiers.
In photos shared by the Ukrainian ministry of defence, Zelensky is seen talking and taking selfies with soldiers, and speaking with hospital staff.
The president also wore scrubs and a mask to speak to at least one soldier who appears to have sustained more serious injuries than the other wounded troops, as photos show him linked to monitors and nasal tubes.
According to an English translation, Zelensky said: “Guys, get well soon. I believe that the best gift for your statement will be our common victory!”
Zelensky also honoured the hospital staff for their work in difficult conditions amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion launched on 24 February.
At least 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers have died defending the country against Russia, Zelensky said on Saturday.
Several hundred Russian soldiers have died, according to the Kremlin earlier this week – although Ukraine claims this figure stretches into the thousands.