Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to address the European Council on Monday as he called for more help for Ukraine and more pressure on Russia to end its offensive.
European Council President Charles Michel said in a letter ahead of the two-day session that Ukraine is “showing incredible courage and dignity in the face of Russian aggression and atrocities.”
“One of our most pressing concerns is assisting the Ukrainian state, along with our international partners, with its liquidity needs,” Michel said. “We will also discuss how to organize our support for the reconstruction of Ukraine, as rebuilding the country will require a major global effort.”
Michel said the meetings would address the high energy prices linked to the conflict and the need to “accelerate our energy transition” to end European dependence on Russian fossil fuels, as well as tackle issues of food security and price. Methods will be discussed. hiking
With Russian forces heavily attacking Svyarodonetsk, the last Ukrainian-controlled city in the Luhansk region, Zelensky said in a video address late Sunday that seizing the city is “a fundamental task for the occupiers” and that Ukraine would Will do all we can to “hold this advance”.
Zelensky said the Russian attacks damaged 90% of buildings in Svyarodonetsk, wrecked telecommunications and destroyed more than two-thirds of the city’s housing.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told French TF1 television on Sunday that Russia’s “unconditional priority is the liberation of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.” He added that Russia views the regions as “independent states”.
Russia focused most of its attention on Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbass region, after redeploying many of its forces that had initially moved to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, and fiercely in the early stages of the offensive launched in late February. met resistance.
Zelensky made a rare trip outside Kyiv on Sunday to meet with Ukrainian forces in the eastern city of Kharkiv, a visit meant to highlight Ukraine’s success in weaning Russia away from Ukraine’s second-largest city.
Zelensky was briefed about the current operations in the city and the soldiers were presented with state awards.
“I want to thank each of you for your service,” said Zelensky. “You are risking your life for all of us and our state. Thank you for defending the independence of Ukraine. take care!”
But on Sunday praising regional officials, Zelensky said Kharkiv’s security chief had been fired for “not working to protect the city from the first days of the full-scale war”.
Ukraine’s regional military administrator, Oleh Sinyehubov, said 31 percent of the Kharkiv region is still occupied by Russian forces.
Ukraine launched a new counter-attack on Sunday to reclaim land around the southern port city of Kherson.
Kherson has served as a platform for Russian forces in southern Ukraine, the first major city for Moscow’s forces since they were swept north from Crimea more than three months ago.
But on Sunday, the Ukrainian military said on Twitter, “Hold Kherson, we’re coming.”
Some of the information in this report comes from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.