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Ukraine: visiting NATO chief, deadly strike in Odessa

The Secretary General of NATO, visiting kyiv, and the Ukrainian president insisted Monday on the need for to deliver more Western weapons à Ukraine, Russian soldiers taking advantage of failures in Western assistance to advance on the front.

Since the failure of their counter-offensive in the summer of 2023, the Ukrainians have been on the defensive. Russia has taken the initiative and is gaining ground in the east, despite heavy losses since the start of the year, facing a Ukrainian army lacking men and ammunition.

At the same time, the Russian military carries out almost daily missile and drone strikes on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure. To repel these attacks, kyiv is asking the West for more anti-aircraft defense means.

Monday, again, a missile attack on Odessa, a large and vital Black Sea port for Ukrainian exports, left at least four dead and 32 injured, announced regional governor Oleg Kiper.

– “Saving lives” –

According to preliminary data, this is the strike of a ballistic missile with submunitions – a weapon that releases many small explosive charges, he continued, on Telegram.

The attack hit one of the “most popular” areas of Odessa, “where people walk with their children, their dogs, do sport…”, he denounced.

According to the governor, a four-year-old child is in “extremely serious” condition, six adults are in intensive care and a man died of a heart attack caused by the attack.

In images broadcast by Ukrainian media, we can see a seaside building on fire: it belongs to the Odessa Legal Academy and is known for look like a small castle.

“On-time deliveries of weapons to our soldiers and on-time solutions in terms of sufficient air defense for Ukraine are what we need to save lives”, reacted President Volodymyr Zelensky in his evening speech.

In this difficult context, the Secretary General of the NATO Jens Stoltenberg visited the Ukrainian capital on Monday, where he met with Mr. Zelensky.

“Significant delays in support have serious consequences on the battlefield,” admitted Mr. Stoltenberg, an allusion to the considerable delay in American and European deliveries of military equipment.

“But it is not too late for Ukraine to win,” he assured, stressing that “more aid is in road” and that new aid announcements are expected “soon”.

Mr. Stoltenberg therefore called on the allies to put in place “a major, multi-year financial commitment (…) to demonstrate that our support for Ukraine is not short-term.”

Russia “must understand that it cannot win,” said the head of the Atlantic Alliance.

– Fear of a Russian offensive –

At his side, Mr. Zelensky urged the West to accelerate arms supplies to “fail” the new major offensive that Moscow is, according to kyiv, preparing.

“Together, we must defeat the Russian offensive,” insisted Mr. Zelensky alongside Mr. Stoltenberg, noting that Russia “is trying to take advantage” delays in Western aid.

“Artillery, (shells of) 155 mm caliber, long-range weapons and anti-aircraft defense, mainly Patriot systems. This is what our partners have and what should now work here in Ukraine to destroy Russia's terrorist ambitions”, launched the Ukrainian head of state.

In recent days, Moscow claimed the conquest of several villages in eastern Ukraine.

On Monday, the Russian army said it had taken Semenivka, northwest of Avdiïvka, a fortress town taken by the Russians in February, and, the day before, it had claimed the occupation of Novobakhmoutivka.

Sunday, the commander-in-chief of the The Ukrainian army, Oleksandr Syrsky, recognized that the situation on the front had “deteriorated”, the Russian troops, superior in number and weapons, having achieved “tactical successes” in several areas.

Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov predicted last week that the situation would worsen around mid-May and early June, which will be a “difficult period” for the Ukraine.

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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