Russia is trying to make the occupied part of Kherson region an “exclusion zone,” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message on Friday.

“In fact, they are dismantling the entire existing healthcare system there. The invaders decided to close medical institutions in cities, take out equipment, ambulances – just everything … They put pressure on doctors who still remain in the occupied areas to move to the Russian territory. First of all, this concerns Kherson region,” he said.

According to the president, “Russia is making Kherson a zone without civilization, without elementary things available in most countries of the world. Before Russia came, this region, like all other regions of Ukraine, was quite normal and safe, all social services were guaranteed to people there … Life was guaranteed there. And now Russia is trying to make Kherson region literally an exclusion zone. The world must respond to this.”

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“Our Foreign Ministry, all our representatives inform international organizations and partners about this new escalation step of the occupiers,” Zelensky said.

He appealed “to all our people who are in these occupied cities and regions: please do everything to help each other – in spite of any actions of the occupiers.”

“The Ukrainian flag will return. We will return normal life. But we need to endure this time. The time when, even formally, the occupiers confirm that they cannot stay on the territory of Ukraine, and therefore they are already trying to steal medical equipment and enslave medical personnel,” Zelensky said.

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