KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday sought to step up their efforts in the war with key allies. Whose fate has tilted towards Ukraine in recent times.
In ancient Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Putin was hoping to break his international isolation and further strengthen his ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping. In a geopolitical alliance that is being seen as a powerful counterweight to the Western powers.
According to the Russian President’s foreign affairs adviser, Putin and Xi were due to meet each other and discuss Ukraine.
Officials said that in Kyiv, Zelensky was on his way back from a traffic collision the previous night, which did not cause any major injuries. He met with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der LeyenWho once again showed full commitment to the cause of Ukraine.
Von der Leyen said she would address “how to continue to bring our economies and people closer while Ukraine moves towards accession” in the EU, which is still far away even under the best of circumstances.
In a sign of further EU commitment, the European Parliament completed the political process of a 5 billion euro preferential loan to Ukraine, the major part of a 9 billion euro aid package to offset the cost of the war.
In Germany, the EU’s economic powerhouse, Foreign Minister Chancellor Olaf Scholz was pressuring Foreign Minister Chancellor Olaf Scholz to make a decision too soon to supply Ukraine with versatile tanks, while the momentum of the war was with Kyiv.
Germany has long been hesitant about such moves, but Annalena Barbock said that “Ukraine currently finds itself in a decisive phase, I also do not believe that this is a decision that can be delayed for a long time.” “
While in some areas Russian forces are being swiftly pushed back towards the border, Russia is still attacking from behind the front lines. Ukrainian officials said Russian missiles continued to hit a reservoir dam near Zelensky’s birthplace, Krivy Rih, on Thursday, damaging more than 100 homes. Efforts were underway to prevent further leakage and officials urged citizens to take shelter as the strike continued.
The attack so close to its roots angered Zelensky, who said the attacks had no military value.
“In fact, killing thousands of civilians is another reason for Russia to lose,” he said in his address late Wednesday.
The presidential office said at least two civilians were killed and 14 wounded in Russian shelling in seven Ukrainian territories in the past 24 hours.
Zelensky himself remained in a spirited mood, saying that about 400 settlements had been withdrawn less than a week after the fighting.
“It was an unprecedented movement of our warriors – the Ukrainians once again managed to do what many considered impossible,” he said.
Zelensky is expected to ask for more Western military material needed in driving retaliation, and requests even more stringent sanctions against Moscow as the war nears the seven-month mark.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Ukraine’s renewed vigor on the battlefield and despite the first flurry of criticism at home, Putin remains firm with his determination to completely subjugate Ukraine.
After a phone call with Putin earlier in the week, Scholz said that “unfortunately, I can’t tell you by now the realization that it was a mistake to start the war.”
“There’s no indication that new approaches are emerging there now,” he said.
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