Moscow talks about the Ukrainian bombing of Luhansk with British missiles, and Zelensky is in Europe to mobilize support | News

Moscow talks about the Ukrainian bombing of Luhansk with British missiles, and Zelensky is in Europe to mobilize support | News
Moscow talks about the Ukrainian bombing of Luhansk with British missiles, and Zelensky is in Europe to mobilize support | News

Russia and Ukraine talked about achieving progress in the city of Bakhmut, which has been intensified for months, at a time when Germany announced the largest military aid package for Kiev, in conjunction with a European visit by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Our soldiers are advancing in some areas of the front, and the enemy is recording losses in numbers and equipment,” said the commander of the land forces in the Ukrainian army, Oleksandr Sersky, on social media. “The defensive operation towards Bakhmut continues,” he added.

On Friday, Ukraine announced that its forces had regained parts of the lands surrounding the city, while Moscow confirmed that it had repulsed an attack along a wide area of ​​the front line.

Conflicting reports from the battlefront indicate an intensification of the fighting after months of relative stability.

For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed – in a statement today, Saturday – that it is advancing into Bakhmut, and has taken control of a neighborhood in the northwestern part of the city.

Russian forces control about 95% of the city, which is suffering from widespread destruction.

The Battle of Bakhmut is the longest and bloodiest since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

In the context, the Russian Ministry of Defense said today, Saturday, that Ukrainian planes bombed two industrial sites in the city of Luhansk, which is controlled by Russia in eastern Ukraine, with long-range “Storm Shadow” cruise missiles obtained from Britain.

On Thursday, Britain became the first country to say it had begun supplying long-range cruise missiles to Kiev, which would enable it to strike Russian forces and supply depots far from the front lines, as Kiev prepares for a major counterattack.

And British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that the missiles could be used inside Ukrainian territory, which means that he had received assurances from Kiev that it would not use these missiles to attack targets within Russia’s internationally recognized borders.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the missiles hit a polymer production plant and a processed meat factory in Lugansk on Friday.

“Storm Shadow air-to-air missiles provided by Britain to the Kiev regime were used in the strike, contrary to London’s declarations that these weapons will not be used against civilian targets,” the ministry added.

On the other hand, Germany announced today, Saturday, that it will provide Ukraine with new military aid worth 2.7 billion euros ($ 2.97 billion).

The largest military aid package to date includes 30 Leopard 1 tanks, 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 15 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, and about 100 armored vehicles, according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel. .

Germany has increased its military support to Ukraine in recent months after pressure from the United States and other allies, and is now the country’s third largest arms supplier.

The advisor to the Ukrainian presidency, Mykhailo Podolyak, welcomed the new German assistance, saying that it “directly shows that (…) Russia is doomed to defeat.”

Kiev is calling for more support, especially as it prepares a counter-attack to regain territory controlled by Russian forces.

Zelensky in Italy

Italian President Sergio Mattarella told his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, that his country fully supports Kiev until a just peace is achieved.

Mattarella, who received Zelensky at the Quirinale Palace in the capital, Rome, affirmed Italy’s full support for Ukraine in terms of military, financial and humanitarian assistance and reconstruction, in the short and long term, according to the Italian news agency (ANSA).

Zelensky arrived this Saturday afternoon in the Vatican, where he was received by Pope Francesco. Pope Zelensky was previously received at the Vatican in February 2020.

A German government source told AFP that Zelinsky’s next station will be Berlin, confirming press leaks.

The program of the visit has not yet been revealed, but the leaks indicate meetings with officials led by Chancellor Olaf Schultz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

For his part, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell urged member states today, Saturday, to expedite the delivery of military equipment to Ukraine, and to provide it with long-range weapons to counter Russian strikes.

“The Ukrainians need specific things. The Russians are targeting them from long distances, so they should be able to reach the same distance, the same range,” Borrell said after meeting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Stockholm.