The British Prime Minister, the conservative Rishi Sunak, met this Saturday in kyiv with the Ukrainian President, Volodimir Zelenski, on his first trip to Ukraine since he took office on October 25. The leader has offered new shipments of weapons and air defense technology.
Europe, from tension to relief: what happened and what we know so far about the missile that fell in Poland
Sunak has uploaded a video to his Twitter account in which he greets Ukrainian political and military representatives after being received by Zelenski, with whom he later had an interview. “The UK knows what it means to fight for freedom. We are with you until the end, ”he says in a message in English and Ukrainian posted on the social network.
A spokesman for Downing Street, the official residence of the head of the London Government, has confirmed that Sunak has traveled to kyiv to express to Zelensky “the continued support of the United Kingdom” for Ukraine. “It is humbling to be here today and have the opportunity to meet those who are doing so much and paying such a heavy price to uphold the principles of sovereignty and democracy,” the Prime Minister later declared.
“I am proud of the support the UK has given Ukraine from the start and I am here today to say that the UK and our allies will continue to support Ukraine as it fights to end this barbaric war and achieve a just peace,” he said. added.
According to Downing Street, the new defensive arsenal includes 125 anti-aircraft guns, as well as “technological tools to counter deadly Iranian-supplied drones” such as radar, all of which is in addition to more than 1,000 new anti-aircraft missiles announced a few days ago by the Ministry. defense.
Sunak has also committed 12 million pounds (almost 14 million euros) to the World Food Program and 4 million (4.6 million euros) to the International Organization for Migration, which will provide generators, shelters, access to water and mobile health clinics, is indicated in the note.
For his part, Zelenski thanked the visit and reported that both had discussed “the most important issues” both for both countries and for “global security.” “We are stronger and we will achieve the desired results,” said the Ukrainian president in the first visit by an international leader after the start of a crisis last week following the fall of a missile in Poland that killed two people.
Before Rishi Sunak, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the European response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, an endorsement that was maintained by his successor, Liz Truss, who lasted only 44 days in office. As the second largest donor behind the United States, the United Kingdom has allocated 2.3 billion pounds (2.55 billion euros) in military assistance to Ukraine and plans to maintain it in 2023, along with some 400 million (460 million euros) in aid humanitarian.
First train to Kherson and new attacks on energy infrastructure
Sunak’s visit comes after some movement at the front. After the Ukrainian troops recaptured the city of Kherson, in the south of the country, this Saturday the first train from kyiv arrived since the enclave was taken by the Russian army. “The first train from kyiv has arrived in Kherson since the beginning of the large-scale invasion by Russia,” read the brief message from the City Council on Facebook, accompanied by a video.
A member of the Kherson regional council, Serhiy Jlan, had reported yesterday that the first train would leave that day at 10:14 p.m. from the capital and would arrive in Kherson on Saturday around 9:00 a.m. local time. “About 200 passengers will go there who have bought a ‘victory ticket’, the wagons have been painted by Ukrainian artists,” he said in a Facebook post. He indicated that the next trains will leave kyiv on even days and Kherson on odd days, while he congratulated “everyone who returns home.”
Ukrainian troops managed to recapture the city in recent weeks thanks to a series of strategic attacks in the area, especially against the bridges that facilitated logistics from the south for Russian troops. Vladimir Putin’s Army has withdrawn to the eastern end of the Dnieper River in a necessary move to face a new stretch of the war with the arrival of winter, which is already beginning to be felt in the country.
Russia has been preparing that ground for months with strategic attacks on Ukraine’s energy supply. Just this morning, a Russian missile attack on the city of Zaporizhia left 123 homes without heating, in addition to one death. “Missile explosions caused damage to central heating pipes and shutdown of heating supply to 123 multi-storey buildings with more than 17,000 subscribers,” local authorities reported on Telegram.
The military administration specified in a statement that Russian forces bombarded the civilian infrastructure of a total of 16 settlements in the Zaporizhia region in the last 24 hours, with 33 reports of damage to homes and infrastructure. These enclaves are Zaporiyia, Zarichne, Chervone, Malynivka, Zaliznychne, Huliaipole, Kamianske, Pavlivka, Mali Shcherbaky, Dorozhnianka, Olhivske, Novoandriivka, Novodanylivka, Poltavka, Mala Tokmachka and Stepnohirsk, according to the statement published on Telegram, quoted by Ukrinform.
Zelenski has affirmed this Saturday that around 50% of the country’s energy infrastructure is damaged. “As of today, about half of the Ukrainian energy infrastructure has been damaged. This Russian terror is not another mockery of the enemy about Ukraine, but also a manifestation of a very cynical anti-European and anti-human Russian policy, ”he said at the press conference after his meeting with Sunak. “Every blow to the Ukrainian energy sector is a blow to the energy security of the entire continent”, he has sentenced.