Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Mykolaiv, the southern city damaged by the war, for the first time since the Russian invasion, as the “fierce battle” intensified again in the eastern region of Donbus. On a rare trip outside Kyiv, Zelensky investigated a heavily damaged skyscraper and met with Mykolaiv officials who had defended the Black Sea coast against Moscow troops.
Russian troops have been directing firepower to the east and south of Ukraine for the past few weeks since their failure to occupy the capital Kyiv after the invasion on February 24. Zelensky appealed for Western support and weapons and welcomed the announcement from Brussels on Friday, which supported Ukraine’s EU accession movement as a “historic achievement.” “Ukrainian institutions remain resilient in the context of war. Ukrainian democratic customs are still weak,” Zelensky said in a video address overnight.
A video released by Zelensky’s office showed that Governor Mykolaiu took the president to see a perforated skyscraper before meeting officials in what looks like a basement. .. “Special attention was paid to the threat from land and sea. We will not stop working for victory,” a statement from his office said. Mykolaiv is Russia’s main target as it is on its way to the strategic Black Sea port of Odessa. It is about 100 km northwest of Kherson, which fell to Russia in the first few weeks of the war.
The worst battles continue in the eastern Donbas region, intensifying in villages outside Severodonetsk, where Russia is trying to occupy for several weeks. “Currently, the most fierce battle is near Severodonetsk. They (Russia) do not have complete control of the city,” Governor Sergie Guyday of the eastern Lugansk region said in a telegram. Guyday said there was “further destruction” at the besieged Azoth chemical plant in Severodonetsk, and that 568 people, including 38 children, had been evacuated.
He also said that Lysychans’k, a Ukrainian-controlled city that crossed the river from the tattered Severodonetsk, was “struck hard.” Residents of Lysychansik were preparing to evacuate. “We will give up everything. History teacher Ala Bol was waiting with his son-in-law, Volodimir, and his 14-year-old grandson.
Kyiv gained support on Friday as the European Commission supported the EU’s position as Ukraine seeks to strengthen Western support as the war prolongs and intensifies the global food and energy crisis. rice field. Full membership can take years, but Block’s 27 leaders can add Ukraine to the list of countries competing for membership at the summit next week at the earliest.
“We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die from a European perspective. We hope they will live with us for European dreams,” Ursula von von Von der Ley.・ Dare Leyen, Chairman of the Committee, said. The leaders of France, Germany and Italy, the largest members of the block, endorsed this idea during their visit to Kieu.
“Protect their country”
Moscow warned against external involvement of the former Soviet Union in its neighbors, saying it had invaded a country that was too close to the west to “de-naji and demilitarize.” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that he “does not oppose” Ukraine’s accession to an economic union like the EU, unlike the security risks that Kyiv sees when it joins NATO. But he said EU accession would turn Ukraine into a western “semi-colonial”. Putin also argued that Russia’s aggression was not the cause of global inflation and grain shortages, and accused Western sanctions of threatening hunger “mainly in the poorest countries.”
Russian state television aired a social media video of two U.S. military veterans who went missing while fighting with Ukrainian troops last week, saying they were captured by Russian troops. US President Joe Biden said on Friday that he was unaware of the whereabouts of Alexander Druke and Andy Huin after his relatives lost contact with them. The third American is also missing.
However, Ukrainian civilian volunteers continue to apply with a group conducting military exercises on Friday at the location of a fortress left by Russian troops in Bucha, which is synonymous with war crimes blaming Moscow’s troops. “Most of the people here are not soldiers. They are civilians who just want to protect their country — 50 percent of them have never had weapons to date,” said a sergeant known as “Ticha.” Told AFP.
On the other hand, Mykolaiv soldiers are trying to maintain their prewar daily life, and some are at the forefront of not giving up on vegan food. Oleksandr Zhuhan said he received a package from a network of volunteers to maintain a plant-based diet. “Pate and vegan sausages, hummus, soy milk … and all of this was free,” said the 37-year-old drama teacher happily. Ukraine is also fighting on another side. It is the right to host the Eurovision Song Contest next year after this year’s morale-boosting victory. Kyiv condemned the organizer’s decision to move the 2023 version of the world’s largest live music event, perhaps for safety reasons, to the United Kingdom. – AFP