New Ukrainian President Zelenskiy visits eastern war zone

International

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, second right, visits the war-hit Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine, Monday, May 27, 2019. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine’s new president has visited military positions in the country’s east, where the army has been fighting Russia-backed separatists for five years.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was inaugurated a week ago , went to two positions Monday in the Luhansk region, according to his office. At one forward position, he was within 400 meters (yards) of rebel positions, his office said.

Zelenskiy spoke with Ukrainian soldiers about issues including their living conditions and food quality, his office said.

More than 13,000 people have been killed in the fighting that broke out in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

Zelenskiy, a TV comic who became famous for playing the Ukraine president in a sit-com, won in a landslide over former President Petro Poroshenko, backed by voters fed up with persistent corruption.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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