Connect with us

World

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy calls for heavy arms, EU membership as Russia pounds cities

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Moscow's massive air and artillery attacks were aimed at destroying the entire Donbas region and urged Ukraine's allies to accelerate the shipment of heavy weapons to match Russia on the battlefield.

On the diplomatic front, European leaders on Thursday will formally set Ukraine on the long road to EU membership at a summit in Brussels. Though mainly symbolic, the move will help lift national morale after four-months of bloody conflict that has killed thousands, displaced millions and destroyed cities.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“We must free our land and achieve victory, but more quickly, a lot more quickly,” Zelenskyy said in a video address released early Thursday, reiterating Ukrainian demands for larger and faster weapons.

“There were massive air and artillery strikes in Donbas. The occupier's goal here is unchanged, they want to destroy the entire Donbas step-by-step,” he said.

“This is why we again and again emphasize the acceleration of arm deliveries to Ukraine. What is quickly needed is parity on the battlefield in order to halt this diabolical armada and push it beyond Ukraine's borders.”

In an indication that the battle for the Donbas was becoming more difficult, Tass news agency cited pro-Moscow separatists as saying they had captured most of Vovchoyarivka, a village some 12 km (7.46 miles) south west of the city of Lysychansk. If true, Lysychansk would be at greater risk of being cut off.

Reuters was unable to immediately confirm the report.

As the fierce war of attrition grinds on in the Donbas, Russian forces resumed pounding Ukraine's second-biggest city Kharkiv near the Russian border.

The Russian strikes on Tuesday and Wednesday on Kharkiv were the worst for weeks in an area where normal life had been returning since Ukraine pushed Moscow's forces back last month.

Kyiv characterized the strikes, which reportedly killed at least 20 people, as a bid to force Ukraine to pull resources from the main battlefields in the Donbas to protect civilians.

“There is no letup in the shelling of civilians by the Russian occupiers,” Oleh Synehubov, governor of Kharkiv region, wrote on the Telegram messaging app. “This is evidence that we cannot expect the same scenario as in Chernihiv or Kyiv, with Russian forces withdrawing under pressure.”

EU membership

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what the Kremlin calls a “special operation” to ensure Russian security and denazify Ukraine. Ukraine and the West call this a baseless pretext for a war of choice that has raised fears of wider conflict in Europe.

Russia has long opposed closer links between Ukraine, a former Soviet state, and Western clubs like the European Union (EU) and the NATO military alliance.

Zelenskyy said he had spoken to 11 EU leaders on Wednesday about Ukraine's candidacy and will make more calls on Thursday. He said earlier he believed all 27 EU countries would support Ukraine's candidate status.

“We deserve it,” Zelenskyy told crowds in Amsterdam via video link.

Diplomats say it will take Ukraine a decade or more to meet the criteria for joining the EU. But EU leaders say the bloc must make a gesture that recognizes Ukraine's sacrifice.

The war in Ukraine has had a massive impact on the global economy and European security, driving up gas, oil and food prices, pushing the EU to reduce its heavy reliance on Russian energy and prompting Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership.

The EU will temporarily shift back to coal to cope with dwindling Russian gas flows without derailing longer-term climate goals, an EU official said on Wednesday, as a tight gas market and soaring prices set off a race for alternative fuels.

Read more:

G7 summit to announce measures increasing ‘pressure on Russia’: US official

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

World

US: Bodies of two of three missing kids found in Minnesota lake

The bodies of two young children have been recovered from a Minnesota lake, and searchers are still looking for a third they fear may have been intentionally drowned.

Meanwhile, the father of the children died at a different location hours earlier, and their mother is missing. Names have not been released.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The chain of events began Friday morning when the father was found dead at a mobile home park in the town of Maplewood, near Minneapolis. Police determined that the woman had left with the children, and a search began.

Maplewood Police Lt. Joe Steiner said the woman’s car was found near Vadnais Lake around 4 p.m. Friday. The shoes of the children were found on the shore.

A search of the lake found one child’s body Friday evening. A second body was found overnight. Searchers from several organizations were busy Saturday looking for the third, as well as the mother.

Authorities believe all three children were under the age of 5.

“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at a news conference on Friday. He called the deaths a “likely triple homicide.”

Read more:

Foreign firefighters arrive in Greece for summer wildfire season

Four tied bodies found in intentionally burned-out helicopter in Mexico

Astronaut study reveals effects of space travel on human bones

Continue Reading

World

Foreign firefighters arrive in Greece for summer wildfire season

Several dozen Romanian and Bulgarian firefighters took up their posts in Greece on Saturday, the first members of a European force being deployed to the country to provide backup in case of major wildfires during the summer.

More than 200 firefighters and equipment from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Romania, Norway and Finland will be on standby during the hottest months of July and August in Greece, where a spate of wildfires caused devastation last summer.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

A group of 28 Romanian firefighters with eight vehicles, and 16 firefighters from Bulgaria with four vehicles, were the first to arrive for the two-month mission, financed and coordinated under the European Union’s civil protection mechanism.

“We thank you very much for coming to help us during a difficult summer for our country, and for proving that European solidarity is not just theoretical, it’s real,” Greek Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said on Saturday as he welcomed the members of the Romanian mission in Athens.

“When things get tough, you will be side by side with our Greek firefighters so we can save lives and property.”

The Bulgarian firefighters have been stationed in Larissa, in central Greece.

Last summer’s wildfires ravaged about 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) of forest and bushland in different parts of Greece as the country experienced its worst heatwave in 30 years.

Following sharp criticism of its response to the fires, the Greek government set up a new civil protection ministry and promised to boost firefighting capacities.

In Greece’s worst wildfire disaster, 102 people were killed when a blaze tore through the seaside town of Mati and nearby areas close to Athens during the summer of 2018.

Read more:

Iranian-flagged tanker in Greece tugged to Piraeus port

Erdogan says no meeting until Greek PM ‘pulls himself together’: Report

Greece formalizes request for US-made F-35 fighter jets: PM Mitsotakis

Continue Reading

World

One killed, six injured in shootout between migrant groups in Serbia

One migrant was killed and at least six others, including a teenage girl, were injured Saturday in a shootout between migrant groups in Serbia near the Hungarian border, the state-run RTS television reported.

The 16-year-old girl sustained life threatening injuries in the incident that occurred in a forest in the outskirts of Subotica, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Belgrade, where the injured were hospitalized, RTS reported.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Police, who made no immediate comment, blocked access to the forest where the incident took place, only around a kilometer from the Hungarian border.

Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin rushed to the scene.

The injured, aged between 20 and 30, have no documents, Subotica mayor Stevan Bakic told local media.

It is not known what triggered the incident, he added.

Local media reported that the shootout occurred between Afghan and Pakistani migrants most likely over human trafficking from the area to European Union member Hungary.

Serbia lies on the so-called Balkans route used by migrants heading towards Western Europe as they flee war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Although the route is nowhere as busy as it was during Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, tens of thousands of illegal migrants still cross the region annually.

Read more:

Three countries ban Russia’s Lavrov flight to Serbia, visit cancelled: Interfax

Kosovo cafe bans Europeans over visa ‘humiliation’

Continue Reading

Trending