Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania for their visit to Kiev on Thursday — the first trip to the capital by some of Europe’s most influential politicians since the Russian invasion. It was important that Western leaders “agreed that the end of war and peace for Ukraine should be exactly as Ukraine sees it,” Zelensky said.
The leaders also offered much-coveted support for Ukraine’s candidacy to join the European Union. France promised six more howitzers – key to the artillery battle against Russia in the east – while Romania offered to facilitate the transport of Ukrainian goods such as grain across its territory.
Conditions across the country remain bleak. Communications with the roughly 500 people trapped at a chemical plant in the eastern city of Severodonetsk were unstable due to relentless Russian bombing, a local official said. At least four people have been killed in airstrikes on Lysychansk, a neighboring city likely to be Moscow’s next target, the regional governor said.
Amid the devastation, Britain’s top uniformed officer told reporters Kiev’s forces had inflicted so much damage on the invader that Russia “would never take control of Ukraine.”