Germany on Tuesday unveiled another large military aid package for Ukraine during an unannounced visit to Kyiv by the defence minister that coincided with the 10th anniversary of the historic Maidan protests.

European Union leader Charles Michel and Moldovan leader Maia Sandu were also in the capital, Kyiv, becoming the latest officials to throw their political clout behind Ukraine during surprise trips.

A flurry of visits from senior Western officials have sought to reassure Kyiv of more military support, as the world's attention shifts to the Middle East and questions emerge over US funding for Ukraine.

The German package – worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion) and including four further IRIS T-SLM air defence systems as well as artillery ammunition – was unveiled by Defence Minister Boris Pistorius after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Rustem Umerov, in Kyiv.


"I am here again, firstly to pledge further support but also to express our solidarity and deep bond and also our admiration for the courageous, brave and costly fight that is being waged here," Pistorius said earlier when he laid flowers at Maidan square in central Kyiv.

Michel, the president of the European Council, announced his arrival in Kyiv by posting on social media a picture of himself getting off a train.

"Good to be back in Kyiv among friends," he wrote ahead of expected meetings, including with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Zelensky earlier this week met the head of the Pentagon, who announced another $100mn in US military aid, and last week hosted UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who promised continued British backing.

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Johnson is walking a knife edge on aid for Ukraine, as far-right lawmakers in the House of Representatives have grown skeptical of pouring billions of dollars into Kyiv's fight against Russia.

The visits come in the wake of a disappointing Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south and east of the country that Kyiv launched this summer after building up stockpiles of Western weapons.

Ukraine has nonetheless claimed recently to have recaptured several kilometres (miles) of land on the east bank of the Dnipro river, which is the de facto front line in the south of the country.


Russia's defence minister dismissed those claims on Tuesday saying his troops had thwarted Ukrainian attempts to land on the occupied bank in the Kherson region, and claiming Kyiv's army had suffered "colossal losses".

The Tuesday visits, which also included an announced trip by Moldovan leader Sandu, fell on the 10th anniversary of massive pro-democracy demonstrations in Kyiv that Zelensky linked to Russia's invasion.

The protest movement – in which around 100 civilians died in violent clashes with security forces in the capital – ultimately led to the ouster of Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych.

"The first victory in today's war took place. A victory against indifference. A victory of courage. The victory of the Revolution of Dignity," Zelensky said in a statement marking the anniversary of the months-long protest movement.

The Maidan protests erupted in late 2013 when Yanukovych ditched an association agreement trade deal with the EU.

The protests precipitated separatist fighting in the east of the country. Zelensky praised his country's progress towards gaining EU membership since Russian forces launched a fully-fledged invasion in February 2022.

"Year after year, step by step, we do our best to ensure that our star shines in the circle of stars on the EU flag, which symbolises the unity of the peoples of Europe. The star of Ukraine," he said.

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