Car carrying Volodymyr Zelenskyy crashes into other vehicle during Ukraine battlefield visit
A car carrying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy collided with another vehicle while visiting a battlefield Wednesday, but officials say Zelenskyy was not injured in the incident.
Zelenskyy visited the city of Izium in Ukraine’s northeast Kharkiv region after his forces made a successful counterattack, driving Russian forces out of more than 1,000 square miles of previously occupied territory. The president’s motorcade was returning to Kyiv when a passenger vehicle collided with Zelenskyy’s.
Zelenskyy was not seriously injured, and his medical team tended to the driver of the passenger vehicle, who was taken away in an ambulance.
Zelenskyy appeared later Wednesday to deliver his daily video address and appeared unharmed.
The incident comes amid a high point for Ukraine in Russia’s ongoing invasion. The counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region is among the most successful Ukrainian military operations of the conflict so far.
Multiple reports stated that Russian troops dropped their weapons and fled during last week’s offensive. Ukrainian troops advanced more than 30 miles in the first three days alone, liberating roughly 1,150 square miles as of Sunday.
“They came into our houses to take clothes so the drones wouldn’t see them in uniforms,” local resident Olena Matvienko told The Washington Post. “They took our bicycles. Two of them pointed guns at my ex-husband until he handed them his car keys.”
Strategic intelligence expert and author of “Putin’s Playbook” Rebekah Koffler cautions those who expect a wider Russian retreat, however, saying it would be very unlike Putin to run.
“Many believe that Russia will now retreat, given that there are signs that the momentum on the battlefield may be shifting again in Ukraine’s favor,” Koffler told Fox News Digital on Monday. “But it will be the opposite. Putin is cornered and when cornered, he fights back much harder.”
“His psychological profile is such that he cannot accept defeat until defeat engulfs him. He also absolutely cannot afford defeat in Ukraine because his whole post-Cold war strategy for Russia hinges on the concept of re-integration of former Soviet states back under Russian control,” she added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.