Zelensky says Ukraine has 'broken the backbone' of the Russian army
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa (not pictured) hold a joint press conference after their meeting. -/Ukrinform/dpa
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Portuguese the Prime Minister Antonio Costa (not pictured) hold a joint press conference after their meeting. -/Ukrinform/dpa

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says his army has inflicted serious damage on Russia's armed forces, despite the fall of the key port city of Mariupol.

Ukraine has "broken the backbone" of the Russian army, Zelensky said in a television interview. "They will not be able to get back on their feet for the next few years."

His comments came after the last 2,400 fighters of Mariupol surrendered and were taken captive.

Kiev will take it all back, he said, adding that Ukraine would see a return to the front lines before February 24, when Russia invaded, a victory.

"It will mean that they did not conquer us and that we defended our country," he said, though he noted this would be very difficult and that diplomacy would follow.