russia ukraine news update: Germany, France and Italy leaders in Kyiv to send ‘message of unity’

Ukrainian official shares footage of Wagner Base destroyed in the Donbas on Friday

French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi arrived in Kyiv on Thursday morning to send a “message of unity” and for talks with president Volodymyr Zelensky.

The trio traveled together on an overnight train provided by the Ukrainian authorities, and held lengthy meetings in the dining car until after midnight.

Upon arrival in Kyiv, Macron said: “It’s an important moment. It’s a message of unity we’re sending to the Ukrainians, of support, to talk both about the present and the future, since the coming weeks, as we know, will be very difficult.”

They are set to be joined by Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis for talks with Zelensky that are expected to focus on Ukraine’s bid to join the EU and further supplies of arms to help repel Russian forces.

In other developments, Russian forces have said they have captured two American men who joined Ukrainian forces in the besieged country’s fight against Russian invasion, according to a report.

The two soldiers—Robert Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27—were captured from Ukraine’s Kharkiv while fighting.

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Kremlin urges EU leaders to not just discuss weapons with Zelensky

The Kremlin said on Thursday it hoped the leaders of France, Germany and Italy would use their visit to Kyiv to discuss other subjects than the supply of weapons to Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a call with reporters that Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz and Mario Draghi should use their time with Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky to take a “realistic look at the state of affairs”.

Joe Middleton16 June 2022 11:33

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‘A message of unity’: Macron, Scholz and Draghi in Kyiv for crunch Zelensky talks

French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi arrived in Kyiv on Thursday morning to send a “message of unity” and for talks with president Volodymyr Zelensky.

The trio traveled together on an overnight train provided by the Ukrainian authorities, and held lengthy meetings in the dining car until after midnight.

Upon arrival in Kyiv, Macron said: “It’s an important moment. It’s a message of unity we’re sending to the Ukrainians, of support, to talk both about the present and the future, since the coming weeks, as we know, will be very difficult.”

Joe Middleton16 June 2022 11:09

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Massacres and war crimes have been committed in Irpin, says Macron

French president Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that massacres and war crimes had been committed in the Ukrainian town of Irpin.

He visited the town with German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, prior to a meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky.

“It’s a heroic city, marked by the stigmata of barbarism,” Macron told reporters.

The leaders of Germany, France and Italy rode into Kyiv on an overnight train on Thursday in a joint demonstration of support for Ukraine, where officials were pleading for more and faster deliveries of Western arms to hold off Russia’s assault.

Joe MiddletonJune 16, 2022 10:45 a.m.

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Footage of Scholz, Macron and Draghi’s night train ride to Kyiv

Joe Middleton16 June 2022 10:29

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‘The spokesperson of a devil’: Ukrainian UN ambassador attacks Russian counterpart

Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) has labeled his Russian counterpart “a spokesperson for the devil” for defending Moscow’s unprovoked attack on his homeland.

Following a series of scathing public attacks on Putin’s envoy, Sergiy Kyslytsya told the Independent‘s Richard Hall that he has no pity for the man who sits across from him in the UN’s New York headquarters.

Acknowledging the Russian’s “very miserable” position at the heart of Putin’s regime, Kyslytsya said the scale of “human tragedy” unfolding in Ukraine is so great he is undeserving of empathy.

‘The spokesperson of a devil’: Ukrainian UN ambassador attacks Russian counterpart

Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) has labeled his Russian counterpart “a spokesperson for the devil” for defending Moscow’s unprovoked attack on his homeland. has no pity for the man who sits across from him in the UN’s New York headquarters. Acknowledging the Russian’s “very miserable” position at the heart of Putin’s regime, Kyslytsya said the scale of “human tragedy” unfolding in Ukraine is so great he is undeserving of empathy. Sign up to news alerts

Joe Middleton16 June 2022 10:06

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France wants Ukraine victory that establishes total territorial integrity

France wants a military Ukrainian victory against Russia that reestablishes the territorial integrity of the country, including Crimea that was seized by Russia in 2014, a French diplomatic source said on Thursday.

The source added it was up to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to define what a military victory could be.

French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi arrived in Kiyv on Thursday on a joint trip to show their backing for Ukraine as it struggles to withstand a Russian assault.

Joe Middleton16 June 2022 09:38

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Ukraine calls on allies for more weapons to ‘turn tide’ on Russia

Ukraine calls on allies for more weapons to ‘turn tide’ on Russia

Joe Middleton16 June 2022 09:00

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German, French, Italian leaders arrive in Kyiv

French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi arrived in Kyiv on Thursday on a joint trip to show their backing for Ukraine.

The three traveled together overnight in a train used to transport high-profile visitors to Ukraine.

“It’s an important moment. It’s a message of unity we’re sending to the Ukrainians, of support, to talk both about the present and the future, since the coming weeks, as we know, will be very difficult,” Macron said as they arrived.

Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis will join them for talks with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky expected to touch on Kyiv’s bid to join the European Union as well as the war itself.

“We’re here, we’re focused, we will join president Zelensky to go to a war site where massacres have been carried out,” Macron said.

Asked why the visit was taking place now, an Elysee official said they had considered it was best to do it just before an EU summit next week that is due to discuss Kyiv’s bid to join the 27-nation bloc.

The European Commission is due to make a recommendation on Friday on Ukraine’s status as an EU candidate, something the biggest European nations have been lukewarm about.

“A balance has to be found between Ukraine’s natural aspirations to (join) the EU at a very special time, and attention to all the countries which already have candidate status and are stuck in the negotiation chapters and the fact that we must not destabilize the EU or fracture it,” the Elysee official said.

Zelensky is expected to push his visitors to send more arms to help his hard-pressed army withstand the Russian invaders.

Joe Middleton16 June 2022 08:41

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‘The spokesperson of a devil’: Ukrainian UN ambassador attacks Russian counterpart

‘The spokesperson of a devil’: Ukrainian UN ambassador attacks Russian counterpart

Joe Middleton16 June 2022 08:18

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Slovakia donates Mi-series helicopters and Grad rockets to Ukraine

Slovakia has donated five Mi-series military helicopters and thousands of Grad multiple-rocket launcher rockets to Ukraine, its defense minister said on Thursday.

“Glad to confirm that thousands of #Slovak 122mm Grad rockets and 5 Mi series helicopters have been safely donated to #Ukraine armed forces,” Jaroslav Nad tweeted after a meeting of Nato and other western defense ministers in Brussels.

The shipment includes four M1-17 and one Mi-2 helicopter, he said, adding that those have already been replaced in the Slovak armed forces by US-made UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.

A NATO member and Ukraine’s western neighbour, Slovakia has strongly supported Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion. It has previously donated other military equipment and ammunition, including the S-300 air defense system.

The country has also agreed to sell eight new Zuzana 2 self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine.

Joe Middleton16 June 2022 08:05

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