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The leaders of Germany, France and Italy, all criti-cised in the past by Kyiv for support viewed as too cautious, visited Ukraine on Thursday in a display of solidarity with a country pleading for weapons to fend off Russia’s invasion.

“It’s an important moment. It’s a message of unity we’re sending to the Ukrainians,” French President Emmanuel Macron said after pulling into Kyiv on an overnight train along with Germany’s Olaf Scholz and Italy’s Mario Draghi. They were joined by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

On the battlefield, Ukrainian officials said their troops were still holding out against massive Russian bombardment in the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk and described new progress in a counteroffensive in the south.

But they said battles on both main fronts de-pended on receiving more aid from the West, espe-cially artillery to counter Russia’s big advantage in firepower.

Life goes on as Ukraine army holds war wed-dings President Volodymyr Zelenskiy thanked the visiting Europeans in a social media post for their “solidarity with our country and people”. But hours earlier he had told his countrymen in a nightly video address: “Every day, I struggle for Ukraine to get the weapons and equipment it needs.”

Air raid sirens blared in Kyiv as the European leaders’ visit got underway. They toured Irpin, a town devastated early in the war, northeast of the capital where withdrawing Russian forces left behind bodies littering the streets.

Noting graffiti on a wall that read “Make Europe, not war”, Macron said: “It’s very moving to see that. This is the right message.”—Reuters

 

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