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European leaders to Kiev to reassure Ukraine of their support

European leaders were at the meeting. kyiv on Tuesday, on the 10th anniversary of the pro-Western Maïdan revolution, to reassure Ukraine of their support in the face of the crisis. Russia, after soon two years of war and a disappointing Ukrainian counter-offensive.

A sign of this support, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced new military aid to Ukraine amounting to 1.3 billion euros, which is added to an envelope of 100 million dollars promised by Washington the day before.

After the arrival on Monday of the American Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, it is the turn of Mr. Pistorius and the President of the European Council Charles Michel to come and assure Kiev of the sustainability of their assistance.

According to German minister, Berlin's aid includes four new Iris-T SLM air defense systems and artillery ammunition, which Ukraine badly needs.

“I am here again, first of all to pledge additional support, but also to express our solidarity and deep bonds, and our admiration for the courageous, brave and costly fight being waged here,” Mr. Pistorius laying flowers on Maidan Square in central Kiev.

The president of the European Council, an institution which represents the 27 member states, said shortly before his arrival to come “to express the strong support of the EU” and prepare with President Volodymyr Zelensky the next European summit in December.

In this regard, Mr. Zelensky said Tuesday that he hoped for a “result” during the summit, “a political decision to begin negotiations” for Ukraine's accession, during a press conference alongside Charles Michel and Moldovan President Maia Sandu, who also came to Kiev and whose country is also a candidate for the EU.

“We have done everything we can, and the rest will also be done”, to respond to the conditions of membership, underlined Mr. Zelensky.

The European Union has “a moral duty” and it is its “strategic responsibility” to provide a positive response to Ukraine, replied Mr. Michel.

– No concessions –

These remarks should reassure Kiev, which primarily fears a lesser commitment from its allies which would benefit Russia, whose economy has been geared towards the war effort.

Ukrainian concerns are all the more pronounced as international attention is monopolized by the war between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas, as the American Congress is torn over continued aid to Ukraine and as the EU is it is also divided on the subject.

European leaders in Kiev to reassure Ukraine of their support

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (l) lays flowers on Maidan Square, November 21, 2023 in Kiev, Ukraine © AFP – INA FASSBENDER < p>These fears, almost two years after the start of the invasion, also come as the major Ukrainian counter-offensive launched in June has largely failed to liberate the occupied territories in the East and the South. kyiv, however, assures that it can win if Western military aid continues.

According to the Ukrainian general staff, no less than 100,000 soldiers from Kiev have been trained in the West and pilots have begun training in the handling of F-16 planes, the supply of which should help the country challenge Russian air supremacy on the front.

For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the pro-Western Maidan revolution on Tuesday, stressing that this popular uprising was the “first victory” against Russia.

This movement, denouncing a corrupt pro-Russian regime, ousted then-President Viktor Yanukovych from power after he attempted to suppress the protest by force.

European leaders in Kiev to reassure Ukraine of their support

Ukraine: positions of military forces as of November 20 © AFP – Sabrina BLANCHARD, Sophie RAMIS, Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA

Vladimir Putin, who considers the revolution as a coup d'état orchestrated in the West to weaken Russia, subsequently annexed Crimea and orchestrated a separatist war in eastern Ukraine. Eight years later, he launched a full-scale invasion of the country in February 2022.

Mr. Zelensky therefore warned his Western allies against any temptation to make “compromises” with Russia: if “the civilized world begins (…) to make concessions to tyrants, we will all lose.”

– Battle of the Dnieper –

The Russian army continues its strikes on Ukraine.

Two civilians were killed in a nighttime drone and missile attack on a hospital and a mining building in the east, Ukrainian authorities announced on Tuesday.

For its part, the Ukrainian army is trying to gain ground on the left bank of the Dnieper River, an area occupied by the Russians in the southern region of Kherson.

European leaders in Kiev to reassure Ukraine of their support

A Ukrainian soldier monitors an area of ​​the Dnieper River, in the Kherson region, on November 6, 20232 © AFP – Roman PILIPEY

It has conquered positions there and has been expanding them since October. But Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assured that “all Ukrainian landing operations” had failed.

On Sunday, Ukraine claimed to have pushed the Russian army back several kilometers in this area, first success after months of unsuccessful counter-offensive.

And Mr. Shoigu is also contradicted by well-informed specialized pro-Kremlin Russian bloggers.

The Telegram account Rybar wrote on Tuesday to its 1.2 million subscribers that the Ukrainian forces, on the left bank of the Dnieper, had taken an additional forest massif near Krynky, their main bridgehead , and always managed to get supplies. It also reports operations further west, near Gola Prystan.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2023) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116