Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has visited the embattled Kharkiv region in the east of the country.

Video footage shared on Sunday on the president’s official Telegram channel showed Zelenskyy awarding soldiers, inspecting the destroyed infrastructure in Kharkiv, but also inspecting burnt-out military vehicles abandoned by the Russian army. It is Zelenskyy’s first known visit to the frontline area in the east of the country since the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

Selenskyj thanked the soldiers for their commitment. “I am immensely proud of our defenders. Every day they risk their lives to fight for the freedom of Ukraine,” the President said.

While Zelenskyi received a report from the military leadership on the operational situation at the front, he spoke to Governor Oleh Synehubov about the damage to civilian objects in the region. According to Synehubov, more than 2,000 houses were destroyed in Kharkiv and the surrounding area. 31 percent of the territory is still under Russian control. The Ukrainian counter-offensive in April and May contributed to the liberation of five percent of the area, Synehubov said.