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European Leaders to meet with Zelensky in Kyiv

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By Shella Artillero - - 5 Mins Read

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi were going to visit Kiev on Thursday, but that plan might change.

The three Western leaders' visit to Ukraine would be their first since the conflict began.

The leaders of France, Germany, Italy, and Ukraine will meet this week amid a disagreement within NATO about how much military aid to deploy to Kyiv.

France, Germany, and Italy have not been delivering substantial amounts of heavy weapons, although the United States and the United Kingdom have both committed to sending more advanced rocket-launching systems in recent weeks. Over 200 main battle tanks and hundreds of heavy artillery pieces have been dispatched by Poland.

Ukraine, Western allies, and the domestic opposition have chastised Mr Scholz's government for failing to provide more military help to Kyiv.

French President Emmanuel Macron

Germany has pledged to supply modern equipment like as self-propelled howitzers and anti-aircraft tanks.

However, none of the shipments have yet arrived, and several aren't due until the end of the year. Berlin, on the other hand, sent large supplies of lighter defensive weapons like anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

Mr Scholz also drew ire when he stated that he would not come to Kyiv for the sake of a photo op. The meeting's agenda for this week has yet to be published.

Other European leaders have also visited Kyiv to show their support for Ukraine's fight against Russian aggression, notably British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Jill Biden, the first lady of the United States, paid a visit to Mr Zelensky, as did Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other top American officials.

Mr. Zelensky has maintained his call for Ukraine to be admitted to the EU. On Saturday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with Mr Zelensky in Kyiv.

She stated after the meeting that the commission will work with Ukraine to rebuild and attract new investment, and that it would have an answer on Ukraine's EU objectives by the end of the week.

“Ukraine was already on a good track before the horrible and atrocious invasion,” she said.

In his Saturday night talk, Mr Zelensky emphasized the importance of his country entering the EU.

"What else has to happen in Europe to convince skeptics that keeping Ukraine outside the European Union is detrimental to Europe?" he said.

"We will work even harder at all levels to make the best decision possible."

Russia using more deadly weapons in war

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Ukraine and the United Kingdom accuse Russia of employing more lethal weaponry in battle.

Russian forces are depending on weapons capable of causing huge losses to make progress in seizing eastern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian and British officials, and harsh, extended battle depletes resources on both sides.

Russian bombers are believed to have launched massive anti-ship missiles from the 1960s in Ukraine and the United Kingdom. According to the Ministry of Defense. The Kh-22 missiles were built with a nuclear warhead to destroy aircraft carriers. They "are highly imprecise and so can inflict serious collateral damage and casualties" when deployed in ground operations with conventional warheads, according to the ministry.

Both sides have used a lot of weapons in what has turned into a grueling battle of attrition for the Donbas region of coal mining and industry, putting significant pressures on their resources and inventories. According to the British government, Russia is likely utilizing the 5.5-tonne (6.1-ton) anti-ship missiles because it lacks more precise modern missiles.


French efforts to unblock the port of Odesa

According to Oleg Kobtzeff, an Eastern Europe scholar at the American University in Paris, Odesa port was "constructed originally at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries by French architects to provide an extraordinary quantity of grain to all of Europe."

"Neither FRANCE 24 nor myself, nor most of us, know exactly how to interpret the AFP news release that [the French government] intends to go through the blockade," Kobtzeff said, "apparently, it would be tolerated by Putin, based on what the news release is saying."

Russian forces are now in control of most of Severodonetsk, the epicenter of the bloody battle for Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, but Ukrainian lines to the city do not yet appear to be totally severed.

Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk region military administration, said Monday that Ukraine was still managing to evacuate some people from the city, but it was limited by the scale of bombardment.