Home NewsAfrica First Western tanks arrive in Ukraine, Zelensky eyes ‘victory this year’ | News24

First Western tanks arrive in Ukraine, Zelensky eyes ‘victory this year’ | News24

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First Western tanks arrive in Ukraine, Zelensky eyes ‘victory this year’ | News24

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to do all the pieces to defeat Russia this yr.
  • This as the primary Western tanks arrived in Ukraine on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
  • America ramped up sanctions on Moscow, this time concentrating on the nation’s banks, navy trade and semiconductor entry.

President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed Friday to do all the pieces to defeat Russia this yr, as the primary Western tanks arrived in Ukraine on the anniversary of Europe’s largest battle since World Warfare II.

German-made Leopard tanks from Warsaw arrived in Ukraine as Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki visited Kyiv to ship a “clear and measurable sign of additional help”.

Extra Polish tanks shall be despatched quickly, Morawiecki stated, additionally providing to coach Ukrainian pilots to fly F16 jets, as Western allies underlined their unwavering help.

America ramped up sanctions on Moscow, this time concentrating on the nation’s banks, navy trade and semiconductor entry.

Russia remained defiant, with former president Dmitry Medvedev insisting that his nation was able to push its offensive “to the borders of Poland”.

Tensions had been additionally constructing on Ukraine’s border with Moldova. Moscow, claiming Kyiv is plotting to invade the breakaway area of Transnistria, has promised to reply. Moldova denied any menace from Ukraine.

Because the warfare entered its second yr, Zelensky pledged to do all the pieces to defeat the invaders within the coming months.

Zelensky stated in a press release:

We endured. We weren’t defeated. And we are going to do all the pieces to realize victory this yr.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov stated his military was gearing up for a counteroffensive.

“We’re working arduous to organize and safe it,” he stated.

‘Spirit is powerful’ 

A yr in the past to the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised the world by sending troops throughout the border, a transfer seen as punishment for Kyiv’s pivot to the West.

The year-long warfare has devastated swathes of Ukraine, displaced hundreds of thousands, turned Russia right into a pariah within the West and, in response to Western sources, brought about greater than 150,000 casualties on either side.

Protests towards Moscow’s aggression had been deliberate throughout Europe to mark the invasion anniversary.

In Berlin, activists positioned a bombed-out Russian tank in entrance of the Russian embassy.

Crowds fell silent for a minute from Tallinn to London whereas key buildings throughout Europe had been draped or lit up within the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag.

A yr in the past, Russian troops sought to quickly set up a pro-Moscow regime in Ukraine however failed to overcome Kyiv and subsequently suffered defeats in northeastern and southern Ukraine.

Since October, Russia has pummelled Ukraine’s power infrastructure, inflicting energy shortages which have left hundreds of thousands within the chilly and darkish.

In a current Ukrainian ballot, almost one in 5 stated they’d misplaced a beloved one within the warfare.

However regardless of the day by day trials, Ukrainians stated they refused to be cowed.

In Bucha, the place Russia has been accused of widespread atrocities, 64-year-old Galyna Gamulets recalled coming below fireplace from Russian troops for “greater than two weeks”.

She voiced pleasure in her nation and stated that “we are going to succeed” in repelling the invaders.

“Thanks to help from Western international locations, we are going to win as a result of our spirit is powerful, stated Yuriy Lototskyi, a 60-year-old electrician, additionally from Bucha.

“We simply need assistance with the weapons”.

New sanctions 

The West, which has imposed more and more stringent sanctions on Russia and boosted humanitarian help and arms provides for Ukraine, unveiled extra assistance on Friday.

America, which has been main efforts to bolster Kyiv militarily, introduced sweeping sanctions not solely geared toward Russia but in addition hitting “over 200 people and entities” throughout Europe, Asia and the Center East which can be supporting Moscow’s warfare.

G7 international locations, which had been set to carry a digital summit later Friday, had been additionally anticipated to launch a brand new company geared toward blocking makes an attempt at circumventing current sanctions.

The brand new help bundle from Washington got here days after President Joe Biden arrived in Kyiv on a historic go to and pledged new arms deliveries.

Sweden on Friday stated it could ship round 10 Leopard 2 tanks and anti-aircraft methods to Ukraine.

On Thursday, the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to demand Russia “instantly” and “unconditionally” withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

However key gamers China and India abstained, as fears rose within the West that Beijing was contemplating arming Russia.

Beijing has furiously denied accusations and sought to place itself as a impartial occasion whereas sustaining shut ties with Russia.

Releasing a 12-point place paper on Friday, Beijing urged Ukraine and Russia to carry peace talks as quickly as doable.

Western allies had been cautious of their reception of the decision, with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier saying it was “nonetheless uncertain” if Beijing sincerely needed to play a constructive position in looking for peace.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg stated Beijing merely “does not have a lot credibility as a result of they haven’t been capable of condemn the unlawful invasion of Ukraine”.

‘Miracles occur’

On the frontline in jap Ukraine, Kyiv troops’ morale remained excessive.

“God helps us. No person thought that Ukraine would maintain,” stated a soldier who goes by the decision signal “Prepare dinner”.

“I do know that miracles occur,” stated the soldier from the ninety fifth Separate Air Assault Brigade within the jap area of Donetsk.

Regardless of navy setbacks and sanctions, Putin, 70, has refused to again down, accusing the West of supporting neo-Nazi forces and claiming Russia’s survival was at stake.

“We’re defending individuals’s lives, our native dwelling,” Putin stated in his state of the nation tackle on Tuesday. “And the objective of the West is limitless energy.”

Putin’s assault on Ukraine and mobilisation of reservists have sparked what is perhaps Russia’s largest mass exodus for the reason that Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.

However with tv propaganda in overdrive, many Russians have rallied behind Putin regardless of financial hassle and multiplying casualties.

“The nation is absolutely altering for the higher,” stated Lyubov Yudina, a 48-year-old safety guard in Moscow.

However Ruslan Melnikov, a 28-year-old trainer, was dejected. “I do not see any future now,” he stated.

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