Tue, 03 October 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Ukraine updates: Zelenskyy in Brussels for EU talks

Update : 09 Feb 2023, 16:00

Ukraine's president will meet with European leaders as he continues rallying support amid Russia's invasion. Meanwhile, Russia's mercenary Wagner Group says it's no longer recruiting from prisons.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in Brussels on Thursday for talks with European leaders, which German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has described as a "signal of European solidarity and community.''

Coupled with EU talks, Zelenskyy is expected to make an address before the European Parliament.

Zelenskyy is visiting European countries as he continues efforts to strengthen support as the Russian invasion approaches one year since it began.

Ukraine's leader is looking for more advanced weaponry, particularly aircraft, as fierce fighting continues to rage in the eastern parts of Ukraine.

On Wednesday Zelenskyy met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak followed by meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and Scholz.

"France and Germany have the potential to be game changers and that's how I see our talks today," Zelenskyy said. "The sooner we get heavy long range weapons and our pilots get modern planes ... the quicker this Russian aggression will end."

The visit comes as Sunak announced that Britain would train Ukrainian pilots on "NATO-standard fighter jets.'' Ukraine has urged its allies to send jets.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel have welcomed Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Brussels.

"Welcome home, welcome to the EU," Michel said on Twitter.

"Welcome to Brussels," von der Leyen tweeted. "We will support Ukraine every step of the way towards our Union," she added.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz highlighted the level of support Germany was providing for Ukraine as he arrived at an EU summit in Brussels.

Scholz said that Germany, as an EU state, was providing Ukraine with "the most financial and humanitarian support, but also with the most concrete support when it comes to arms deliveries."

Scholz's comments come ahead of an EU leaders' meeting with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Brussels.

Governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hayday said there has been a "significant increase" in Russian attacks and shelling in eastern Ukraine.

"I can confirm that there has been a significant increase in attacks and shelling. And it is in the direction of Kreminna that they are trying to build on their success by pushing through our defenders' defences," Hayday told Ukrainian television.

Hayday said that there had been "no significant success" thus far and that "our defense forces are holding firmly there."

On Wednesday Hayday said there had been a "maximum escalation" in a tweet.

Kreminna, is situated around 100 km (62 miles) northwest of the regional capital Luhansk.

Russia' mercenary Wagner Group said that it would no longer recruit prisoners to fight in Ukraine.

"The recruitment of prisoners by the Wagner private military company has completely stopped," the group's founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said in comments published on social media.

"We are fulfilling all our obligations to those who work for us now," he said.

In video which circulated online from September 2022, Prigozhin was seen addressing a crowd of convicts, promising that if they served in Ukraine for six months, their sentences would be commuted.

Its unclear just how many prisoners were recruited, however Reuters news agency has in the past cited the US intelligence community in reports that the group had as many as 40,000 prisoners deployed in Ukraine.

More on this topic

More on this topic