Friday, June 9, 2023
HomeTOP NEWSUkraine's Zelenskiy visits Poland as allies ramp up military aid News

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy visits Poland as allies ramp up military aid News

  • Heavy fighting reported around Bakhmut
  • Zelenskiy visits Poland, Macron to pressure China
  • Washington promises billions more as Ukraine prepares offensive

KIEV, April 5 (Reuters) – The United States has announced a new package of weapons and other military equipment for Ukraine, where Russian troops continued their long and costly battle to seize the eastern city of Bakhmut.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy arrived in neighboring Poland on Wednesday on an official visit to a close ally that has hosted millions of Ukrainian refugees and provided the Kiev government with vital weapons.

French President Emmanuel Macron was due to be in China after he and US President Joe Biden agreed they would try to engage Beijing to speed up the end of Russia’s assault on Ukraine, now in its second year.

The United States on Tuesday promised $2.6 billion more in military assistance to the Zelenskiy government, including three air surveillance radars, anti-tank rockets and fuel trucks. The United States has now provided more than $35 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

Moscow’s embassy in Washington accused the United States of wanting to drag out the conflict for as long as possible, the Russian news agency TASS said.

The new US aid package comes as Ukrainian forces prepare to mount a counter-offensive in the east against Russian forces, though exactly when it might begin has not been revealed.

The battlefield focus remained on Bakhmut, a mining town and transportation hub on the edge of a part of Donetsk province largely under Russian control. Both sides have suffered massive casualties and much of the city has been reduced to ruins after months of street fighting and shelling.

Bakhmut’s fate was unclear Wednesday morning after Russian forces said over the weekend they had captured the city center, a claim kyiv dismissed.

Near the city of Niu-York, 50 km (30 miles) south of Bakhmut, Ukrainian soldiers in muddy dugouts described how they repel Russian attacks on a daily basis.

“They sneak up, shoot and try to exhaust us. Then they assess the situation and can move a little further,” the infantry unit commander, who gave his nom de guerre as “Bodia,” told Reuters.

“In the meantime, we try to let them get close to us so we can hit them more accurately.”

Ukrainian military commanders have stressed the importance of holding Bakhmut and other cities and inflicting losses before the anticipated counteroffensive.

The Ukrainian general staff said in a report: “In the Bakhmut sector, there was no interruption in enemy actions aimed at storming the city of Bakhmut. At least 20 enemy attacks were repelled here alone in the last 24 hours.”

Reuters was unable to verify the reports from the battlefield.


In Warsaw, Zelenskiy was scheduled to meet President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and talk to Ukrainian refugees.

The Ukrainian leader crossed the border into Poland, which has played an important role in persuading other Western powers to supply Ukraine with battle tanks and other weapons, on Wednesday morning.

“It will not come as a surprise to anyone if the Ukrainian side asks Poland and other foreign partners for more support… but we must be aware that we, like Poland, have already done a lot,” Polish presidential adviser Marcin Przydacz said.

Przydacz said earlier that a first shipment of MiG fighter jets had already been delivered to Ukraine.

“Poland’s MiGs will significantly strengthen our defense, allow us to make our skies safer, save the lives of our citizens and also reduce the destruction caused by Russian attacks,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov wrote in Telegram.

Separately, the Kremlin said that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko would travel to Moscow on Wednesday for two days of talks with Putin.

Belarus is among Putin’s strongest allies and was used as a launching pad for the Russian invasion in February last year. Putin said last month that Russia will place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Additional reporting by Ron Popeski and Mike Stone; Written by Angus MacSwan, Edited by Philippa Fletcher

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments