President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that Russian troops now control almost 20 per cent of Ukraine's territory, but the "Ukrainian defence forces have liberated 1,017 localities since the beginning of the full-scale invasion".
"Russian troops invaded 3,620 populated localities of Ukraine. 1,017 of them have already been liberated, another 2,603 need to be liberated. As of today, about 20 per cent of our territory is controlled by the occupiers, almost 125,000 square km. It is much more than the area of all Benelux countries combined," Zelensky said in his address to politicians and the people of Luxembourg, Ukrinform news agency reported.
At the same time, the President noted that Russia had launched the war against Ukraine eight years ago. From 2014 to February 24, 2022, Russia controlled almost 43,000 square km of Ukraine's territory - Crimea and a third of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Zelensky added that currently about 300,000 square km of Ukraine's territory are contaminated with mines and unexploded ordnance. "Moreover, 12 million Ukrainians have become internally displaced persons and more than 5 million, mostly women and children, have left the country."