Russia announced The government announced a considerable increase in its defense budget on Thursday, signaling that it was ready to take action. a "hybrid war" long in Ukraine, at the time whenù Western allies are at risk. kyiv to discuss Ukrainian requests for military aid.
Ukraine launched a difficult counter-offensive in June to try to liberate the territories occupied by the Russian army, but it believes it needs more support to repel a Russia which it considers threatening , all of Europe.
In Kiev, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky received in this context the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, as well as the French and British Defense Ministers, Sébastien Lecornu and Grant Shapps.
On Friday, an international forum dedicated to defense industries is planned in Kiev.
In Moscow, the Kremlin justified the planned increase in the military spending budget by 68% in 2024 compared to the previous year to reach 10,800 billion rubles (106 billion euros).
For Moscow, the West, by supporting Kiev, is leading “a hybrid war” against Russia in order to submit it to its hegemonic desires.
Defense will therefore represent approximately 30% of total federal spending in 2024 and 6% of GDP, a first in the history of post-Soviet Russia.
This volume illustrates Moscow's determination to continue its assault, launched more than a year and a half ago.
“It is obvious that such an increase is necessary, absolutely necessary, because we are in a state of hybrid warfare”, affirmed Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov.
– “Imperialist delusions” –
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (d) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, during a press conference in Kiev, September 28, 2023 in Ukraine © AFP – Sergei SUPINSKY
From the Ukrainian capital, alongside President Zelensky, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg denounced Moscow's “imperialist delusions”, noting that “Ukrainians are fighting for their families (…) and their freedom “.
The head of the alliance also welcomed the recent advances in the Ukrainian counter-offensive, even if these remain reduced in both the South and the East.< /p>
War in Ukraine: the situation as of September 28 © AFP – Cléa PÉCULIER, Valentin RAKOVSKY, Sophie RAMIS
“Today, your forces are advancing. They are facing fierce fighting, but they are gaining ground little by little,” declared Mr. Stoltenberg.
He noted that a coalition of around fifty countries have promised some 100 billion euros in aid since the start of the conflict military to Ukraine, half coming from the United States.
The Ukrainian president also received French Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu on Thursday, who insisted on the need for Paris to be “reliable” in the long term in the aid promised to Ukraine, given that “this war will last “.
Mr. Lecornu, who came accompanied by around twenty defense industrialists, also promised a “monthly supply of shells” to Ukraine by the end of 2024.
British Defense Minister Grant Shapps, also present in Kiev, discussed with Mr. Zelensky the strengthening of Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense, according to a press release from the presidency.
– Winter is coming –< /p>
Ukraine indeed expects Moscow to attack the energy infrastructure this winter, as it did last year, to plunge Ukrainians into darkness and cold.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on September 28, 2023 in Kiev © AFP – Sergei SUPINSKY
“The Secretary General agreed to make efforts to help us”, to “mobilize the members of the Alliance”, affirmed Mr. Zelensky.
The Ukrainian Minister of Defense, Roustem Oumerov thanked on this occasion his British counterpart Grant Shapps for the “unwavering support” of London.
French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu (l) in front of the Wall in memory of the defenders who fell in combat in Ukraine, September 28, 2023 in Kiev © POOL – Sergei SUPINSKY
“The winter is coming, but we are ready. We are stronger together,” Mr. Oumerov wrote on X (ex-Twitter).
On the front, the bombings continued on Thursday, leaving two dead and six injured in Krasnogorivka, in the east of the country, according to the Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office. A coke factory was also targeted in Avdiïvka, according to local authorities.
During the night, the Ukrainian army had already indicated that it had destroyed 31 drones out of the 39 fired by Russia, without specifying which installations were affected.
On the issue of Ukrainian membership in NATO, a red flag for Moscow, the Ukrainian president considered that it was only a “question of time”.
Mr. Stoltenberg assured him that Kiev is “closer to NATO than ever”, although no timetable has been announced.
Visiting Germany, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokaïev, a close partner of Moscow, called for “an immediate cessation of hostilities” in Ukraine and the opening of “negotiations”.
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