The Ukrainian president is pushing for the delivery of military materials to Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky promised Ukraine a military victory over Russia on the condition that it receives “in a timely manner” the weapons and supplies promised by its Western allies to stop enemy advances, as this Saturday marks two years since the start of the invasion .

We have been fighting for this for 730 days of our lives. And we will win,” Zelensky announced at an event at Gostomel airport near Kiev.

The president was flanked by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, as well as the heads of government of Canada, Italy and Belgium, who traveled to Kiev at the beginning of the third year of the war to confirm their countries’ support.

The head of German diplomacy, Annalena Braerbock, met with her Ukrainian counterpart in Odessa (South).

The Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Oleksander Sirski, referred to the difficulties at the front and stated that “light always triumphs over darkness.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin planned to occupy Kiev in a few days when he ordered the invasion on February 24, 2022. But he suffered humiliating setbacks in the face of Ukrainian resistance.

Ukraine’s plans, in turn, have been derailed by the failure of its major summer counteroffensive in 2023, and its army has complained about a lack of troops, howitzers and anti-aircraft batteries.

“You know very well what we need”

The presence of several Western leaders in Ukraine does not hide the fact that US aid is being blocked by Republican opponents of President Joe Biden and that there are delays in aid from the European Union.

They know very well what we need to protect our skies, to strengthen our land army, what we need to support and continue our successes at sea. And they know very well that we need it in time,” Zelensky explained.

Ukraine is trying to mitigate US aid cuts through bilateral agreements. This Saturday he signed two contracts with Italy and Canada, after having done so in recent days with France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Denmark.

Canada will provide about $2.2 billion in financial and military assistance to Kyiv in 2024. “We will support Ukraine with whatever it takes, for as long as it takes,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.

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Ursula von der Leyen indicated that the European Union would give Ukraine 4.5 billion euros ($4.8 billion) in March, the first tranche of a 50 billion euro package the bloc approved in February had.

“Today Ukraine is significantly stronger than two years ago,” Zelensky said in Telegram.

The G7 of major Western powers also expressed their determination to stand by Ukraine, saying they would “continue to raise the price of war for Russia.”

The G7 countries (US, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Canada) also called on Iran to “end support” to Russia and expressed “concern about the transfer of weapons components by Chinese companies ( …) to Russia “and equipment for military production”.

In recent days, Russia has achieved victories such as the capture of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine after months of bitter fighting.

Russian troops also went on the offensive in another eastern sector, around Mariinka.

“Today the advantage in terms of troop distribution is on our side,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Saturday during a visit to his troops.

Demonstrations in Europe

Thousands of people demonstrated their solidarity with Ukraine in several European countries on Saturday.

Berlin’s mayor Kai Wagner condemned Russia’s “brutal war of aggression” in front of around 5,000 demonstrators according to the police (twice as many according to the march organizers).

In Madrid, around 1,500 people protested against the conflict. They carried banners that read “Donbas is Ukraine,” a reference to the mining basin largely occupied by Russia since 2014, and called Putin a “murderer.”

In Russia, Putin’s plan to secure a victory in the mid-March presidential election no longer appears to be an obstacle, as the opposition has been decimated and its main leader Alexei Navalny died in an Arctic prison on February 16.

The G7 called this Saturday for the circumstances of his death to be “fully clarified”.

With information from AFP.

ORP

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