December 7, 2022

Zelensky vows Ukraine will win, Boris Johnson promises lasting support

Zelensky vows Ukraine will win, Boris Johnson promises lasting support

  • Johnson pledges support, warns Ukraine will be overburdened
  • The EU summit is expected to support the status of Ukraine’s candidate
  • The battle continues for Sievierodonetsk
  • Zelensky visits troops in the south
  • More missile strikes and shelling across eastern and central Ukraine

Kyiv (June 18) (Reuters) – Blessing its European Union ambitions and pledging unwavering support from Britain, Ukraine on Saturday vowed victory over Moscow as its forces battle the Russian offensive near a pivotal eastern city and bomb local communities. More heavy bombardment.

European Union leaders are expected to attend a summit next week to award Ukraine’s candidate status following Friday’s recommendation from the bloc’s executive director, setting Kyiv on track to realize an ambition that was seen as elusive before the invasion, even if actual membership could take years. Read more

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Friday and offered exercises to Ukrainian forces, stressed on Saturday the need to continue supporting the country and avoid “straining Ukraine” after nearly four months of war.

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The Ukrainian military said on Saturday that the industrial city of Severodonetsk, which was a key target in Moscow’s offensive to take full control of the eastern Luhansk region, was hit on the battlefields by heavy artillery and rocket fire while Russian forces attacked areas outside the city.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said in the Telegram messaging app that the attack on the towns south of Severodonetsk was repelled by Ukrainian forces.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose defiance has inspired Ukrainians and earned him global respect, said Saturday he had visited soldiers on the southern front line in the Mykolaiv region, offering a new message of hope upon his return.

“Our brave men and women,” he said on his official Telegram account. “Each one of them works very hard.” “We will definitely hold out! We will definitely win!”

A video posted to his account showed Zelensky, wearing his trademark khaki shirt, handing out medals and posing for selfies with soldiers. Zelensky did not mention the date of the flight. Read more

Ukrainian authorities reported nighttime shelling of multiple sites in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Kharkiv and in the west in Poltava and Dnipropetrovsk. A regional governor said that early Saturday morning Russian missiles rained down on a suburb of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, hitting a municipal building and setting off a fire in a group of apartments, but there were no casualties.

Reuters could not independently confirm the battlefield accounts.

Moscow denies targeting civilians in what it calls a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect Russian speakers there from dangerous nationalists. Kyiv and its allies reject this as an unfounded excuse for war.

strategic resilience

“The Russians are advancing step by step and it is important for us to show what we know is true, which is that Ukraine can and will win,” Johnson told reporters upon his return from Kyiv to Britain. Read more “When Ukraine starts to wear out, it is very important to show that we are with them for the long term and give them the strategic flexibility they need,” he said.

One of President Vladimir Putin’s goals when he ordered thousands of soldiers into Ukraine on February 24 was to halt NATO’s military expansion eastward and keep its southern neighbor out of the West’s sphere of influence.

But a war that has killed thousands, reduced cities to rubble and forced millions to flee, has had the opposite effect.

It persuaded Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership and helped pave the way for Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union.

“Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday, while announcing her decision to nominate Ukraine and its neighbor Moldova for membership in the European Union.

“We want them to live the European dream with us,” she said, wearing a yellow jacket over a blue blouse in Ukrainian colors.

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(Reporting by Reuters offices) Writing by Tomasz Janowski and Editing by Frances Kerry

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