President Volodymyr Zelensky has visited Ukrainian troops on the frontline in the eastern region of Donetsk, where Russian forces have concentrated their efforts to capture territory.
The presidency said that Zelensky had been with senior officials responsible for ground forces along that section of the frontline and also handed out awards.
“On his return from a foreign visit, President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the frontline positions of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Vugledar-Maryinka defence line in Donetsk region,” the presidency said in a statement.
Ukrainian troops held back Russian forces around Vugledar during Moscow’s winter offensive that gave the Kremlin only limited gains in the battle-scarred Donetsk region.
“Every day on the battlefield, Ukrainian marines prove that they are a powerful force that destroys the enemy, liberates Ukrainian land and performs the most difficult tasks in the most difficult conditions,” Zelensky said.
“And we need more of this force. So, from today, we are significantly increasing the potential of the marines and creating a marine corps,” Zelensky said.
Zelensky said new brigades will be formed and provided with modern equipment and weapons, according to the statement.
The Ukrainian leader made the trip after returning from the G7 summit in Japan and after addressing the Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia.