KYIV, Ukraine ( Associated Press) — Ukrainians have hailed President Volodymyr Zelensky after a trip to the United States during the war, calling his visit a success, while Russian officials said Thursday’s visit only fueled the conflict.
The United States announced a new $1.8 billion military aid package, including the supply of Patriot air defense systems, the most powerful weapons ever delivered to Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters, “They say they can send the Patriot over there, well, we’ll smash the Patriot as well.” “They make it pointless, it only escalates the conflict.”
The people of Ukraine described the visit of their President as a great success.
“This is a historic visit, the first since the war began,” said Ilya Shvachko, a 32-year-old computer specialist from Kyiv. “Getting a weapon helps.”
Putin confirmed that Russia is ready to hold talks with Ukraine on ending the conflict.
“Somehow or the other, all armed conflicts end with negotiations,” Putin said. “The sooner our detractors understand this, the better. We never reject dialogue.”
Zelensky landed in Poland on Thursday as he was on his way back to Ukraine, according to information posted on social media. He wrote that he met “a friend from Ukraine” on the way home. A video showed him being greeted by Polish officials after he got off the plane. He and Polish President Andrzej Duda hugged, exchanged greetings, and then sat down to talk.
“I feel proud of my country, for helping us, for not being alone in this difficult time,” said 71-year-old Ukrainian pensioner Larisa Doroshevska. “I really want to win. I really want to defeat this darkness.
Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, accused Zelensky and the Americans of “concentrating on the war … moreover, propagating the Ukrainian regime for Washington’s needs”.
Russian state TV tried to downplay the military and political support Zelensky enjoyed in Washington. He insisted that not all MLAs were present for the speech. Commentators also highlighted the Ukrainian president’s “casual dress” during President Joe Biden’s visit to the White House.
A Ukrainian attack on a hotel in the city of Donetsk late on Wednesday killed two people and injured several others, including a Russian deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, and a Moscow-based leader in the partially occupied Donetsk region. Former heads of state space were involved. Agency Roscosmos.
According to Russian media reports, Rogozin was celebrating his birthday at a restaurant in Donetsk when the building came under attack. He later wrote that he was about to have surgery because a piece of metal had become lodged in his spine above his right shoulder blade.
In a statement on Thursday, the Ukrainian border force tacitly acknowledged the attack in Donetsk, noting that Rogozhin had entered Ukraine without authorization, stressing that such an action “has consequences”. ” He did not directly say that the Ukrainian military targeted Rogozhin in the attack in the city of Donetsk, maintaining an ambiguity similar to how Ukrainian officials have treated previous high-profile attacks on Russian targets.
Russian state media reported that a car bomb explosion on Thursday killed an official appointed by the Kremlin in the village of Lyubimivka in the southern Kherson region. Ukrainian guerrillas have operated for months behind Russian lines in Ukraine’s occupied south and east, targeting key Kremlin-installed officials, institutions and infrastructure such as roads and bridges.