Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said his country has reclaimed 6,000 square kilometers of occupied territory from Russia in recent weeks as its troops push forward with a counteroffensive.
"From the beginning of September until today, our warriors have already liberated more than 6,000 square kilometers of the territory of Ukraine - in the east and south," he said in an address to Ukrainians. "The movement of our troops continues."
More than half a year into the war, Ukraine has been ramping up a counteroffensive and officials now report Russian troops have been forced to retreat in a number of settlements, and have been pushed to the border in some places.
Ukraine’s moves has been seen by many as a turning point in the conflict.
The Russians appeared to be caught off-guard by Ukraine’s intensified advance. One ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin called the troops’ retreat “astounding.”
Russian strikes on Sunday targeted infrastructure and caused power outages in Ukraine, and Moscow continued its assaults Tuesday as Ukraine works to hold its reclaimed territory and put pressure on the retreating troops.
Ukrainian troops "are continuing to make impactful gains" and "steadily degrading the morale and combat capabilities of Russian forces," according to an update released Monday by the Institute for the Study of War.
In his address, Zelensky also called out Russia for “energy terror,” “hunger terror” and “radiation terror at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.”
"Why is the biggest source of terror in the world - Russia - still able to wage this war? And why can it wage the war so cruelly and cynically?" he asked. "There is only one reason - insufficient pressure on Russia. The response to the terror of this state is insufficient."
Russia has occupied Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia, since early in the war, though Ukrainians still operate the plant. Recent nearby shelling, which Ukraine says damaged the facilities, and power outages have heightened concern about potential nuclear accident.
Zelensky also voiced concerns about Russia’s attacks on infrastructure, and the international impact of Russia’s efforts to block food and energy exports from Ukraine.
The country on Sunday marked its 200th day of war.