KYIV, Ukraine – Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy were both flirting with major allies on Thursday, seeking to back their efforts in a war whose fortunes have tilted in Ukraine’s favor in recent days.
In Uzbekistan’s quaint Samarkand, Putin hopes to break international isolation and further cement his ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a geopolitical alliance increasingly seen as a counterweight. strong with the Western powers.
According to the Russian president’s foreign affairs adviser, Putin and Xi will meet face-to-face and discuss Ukraine.
In Kyiv, Zelenskyy survived a traffic collision the night before, leaving him with no serious injuries, officials said. On the agenda was a meeting with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who once again demonstrated full commitment to the Ukrainian cause.
Von der Leyen said she would address “how to continue to bring our economy and people closer together as Ukraine moves toward accession” to the European Union, which may still many more years under the best of circumstances.
While Russian forces in some areas are increasingly pushed back towards the border, Russia is still attacking from behind the front lines. It fired rockets into the dam of the reservoir near Zelenskyy’s birthplace, Kryvyi Rih, forcing the local authorities to take urgent action to ensure there was no threat to the population.
The head of Kryvyi Rih, Oleksandr Vilkul, on Thursday said officials had blown up two dams to help keep the river flowing and that extra water levels had begun to drop. Authorities continued search and rescue efforts. He did not immediately clarify.
The attack was so close to his roots infuriated Zelenskyy, who said the attacks had no military value.
“In fact, attacking hundreds of thousands of civilians is another reason Russia will lose,” he said in his nightly address late Wednesday.
Zelenskyy himself remained in high spirits, saying that nearly 400 settlements had been recaptured in less than a week of fighting.
“It’s an unprecedented movement of our fighters – the Ukrainians have once again done what many considered impossible,” he said.
Zelenskyy is expected to request more Western military documents, which have been essential in prompting the counter-offensive, and demand even harsher sanctions on Moscow as the war progresses. The 7 month mark is coming.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that despite Ukraine’s new strength on the battlefield and early criticism at home, Putin remained steadfast in his determination to completely subjugate Ukraine.
After a phone call with Putin earlier this week, Scholz said that “unfortunately, I can’t tell you that by now, the perception has developed there that it was a mistake to start this war.”
He added: “There is no sign of new attitudes emerging there.
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