Zelensky says Ukraine satisfies criteria for EU accession, awaits US arms deliveries

President Volodymyr Zelensky says that frontline troops are anticipating US materiel following the latest $61 billion Congressional approval for more weapons that Kyiv desperately needs.

“We are interacting with our partners at all levels to achieve the level of efficiency in assistance that is needed not only to hold our positions but also to disrupt Russia’s war plans,” he said in his nightly address to the nation on April 28. “We are still waiting for the supplies promised to Ukraine – we expect exactly the volume and content of supplies that can change the situation on the battlefield in the interests of Ukraine.”

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Ukraine’s second wartime president also said that Kyiv and Washington are working on a bilateral security agreement.

“Our goal is to make this agreement the strongest of all. We are discussing the specific foundations of our security and cooperation,” Zelensky said.

Ahead of an international peace summit in June to find avenues to end the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war, Zelensky said that the war-torn country he leads “has fulfilled all the necessary conditions for the actual start of access negotiations, and it is up to the EU side to fulfill its obligations.”

Switzerland is scheduled to host the summit on June 15-16 and will include members of the G7 member states, members of the EU, and countries such as China and India.

'We Don't Want the UN Charter to Burn Down Like These Books' - Zelensky Records Appeal Amidst Kharkiv Printing House
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'We Don't Want the UN Charter to Burn Down Like These Books' - Zelensky Records Appeal Amidst Kharkiv Printing House

The printing house was targeted by Russian missiles on May 23, resulting in seven fatalities, over 20 injuries, and the destruction of 50,000 publications.

So far, Russia said it won’t attend the event, yet Moscow has said it is not opposed to holding peace negotiations.

Zelensky in 2023 issued a 10-point peace plan for ending the war that says: “Russia must withdraw all its troops and armed formations from the territory of Ukraine, plain and simple.”

Ukraine’s constitution enshrines EU and NATO accession as foreign policy goals.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as seen on April 28. (Office of the President of Ukraine)

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Ukrainians stabbed in Bavaria were soldiers on a rehabilitation trip

The two Ukrainian citizens whom a suspected Russian national stabbed to death in Germany on April 27 were Ukrainian soldiers who were undergoing rehabilitation, Kyiv said the following day.

Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (MFA) said it is still clarifying in which military units the two victims, aged 36 and 23 years, had served while they were mending.

A 57-year-old Russian national male is suspected of fatally attacking both at a shopping mall in the German town of Murnau am Staffelsee.

Both of the unnamed victims died of their knife wounds in a hospital, a news release by the Bavarian police said.

The MFA said it is trying to establish contact with the relatives of the victims.

Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba instructed consular services in Munich, considered the main city of Germany’s Bavarian region, “to keep the case under special control and to be in constant contact with the law enforcement agencies of Germany,” the MFA statement said.

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British Minister says 450,000 Russian military personnel suffered casualties in Ukraine

Nearly a half million Russian military personnel have been “killed or wounded” fighting in Ukraine since the full-scale invasion commenced in February 2022, the United Kingdom Defence Journal said on April 27, citing British Armed Forces Minister Leo Docherty.

He added that “tens of thousands” of Russian personnel have also deserted.

A killed-in-action tally for Russian mercenaries, such as from the Wagner group, was “not clear,” Docherty said.

The figures almost match Ukraine’s official figures, which say that more than 466,000 Russian military personnel have perished during the same period.

Traditional Victory Day parades canceled in five Russian regions over security concerns

Five western Russian regions have canceled parades to commemorate Victory in Europe Day over Nazi Germany during World War II.

Traditionally held on May 9, the regions of Bryansk, Pskov, Ryazan, Kursk and Belgorod have for the second consecutive year canceled parades for what is a national holiday, British Defence Intelligence said on April 28.

“The regions listed are all…likely vulnerable to Ukrainian uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) strikes,” the ministry said.

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The Kremlin was the target of one such attack during last year’s parade, the British government body said.

Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin will be inaugurated as president two days before the mostly nationwide parades after winning what many pro-democracy observers say was a rigged presidential election in March.

Australia announces additional $100 million aid package for Ukraine

Canberra announced another $100 million security assistance package for Kyiv on April 27 during a quick visit by Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles to Ukraine that day.

It includes more than $30 million worth of drones, which have changed battlefield conditions in modern warfare.

About $50 million worth of short-range air-defense systems are part of the package.

“Ukraine and its people have endured more than two years of Russia’s full-scale invasion but their spirit remains strong,” Marles said in a statement after he visited Lviv in western Ukraine.

Speaking at a joint news conference with him was Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who said that Australia’s armored Bushmaster and M113 “vehicles have proven excellent on the battlefield.”

Canberra’s military assistance has so far reached a total of $880 million since February 2022, Australia’s public broadcaster, ABC, reported on April 27.

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Another Ukrainian official criticizes the Red Cross over its Russian branch’s behavior

Ukraine’s human rights chief castigated the International Committee of the Red Cross (IFRC) over its Russian branch’s actions in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

It is “playing along with Russian aggression,” Dmytro Lubinets said on April 27 through his Facebook page.

He accused the IFRC earlier this year of violating its core principles of neutrality and its Russian branch of having a presence in the Russia-occupied Crimean Peninsula, whereas the Ukrainian branch of the organization should.

President Zelensky last year criticized the Geneva-based group, which is the only one allowed to operate in war zones, for its slow response to when Russia destroyed the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam on June 6.  

The IFRC responded to allegations and criticism of its Russian branch on April 25 by saying that it has established a “Governing Board Oversight Groups to assess, identify, monitor, and recommend corrective actions” to the Russian branch of the international organization.

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So far, the group said the Russian branch doesn’t have a presence in the other Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

About €6.7 million from Russia’s state budget was allocated to IFRC’s Russian branch for this year, a joint investigation by Delfi Estonia, Vsquare, Meduza, Expressen, and Paper Trail Media found in February.

It contradicted IFRC’s statement that the group’s Russian branch doesn’t have a presence in occupied Ukrainian territories.

The Kremlin uses government money and appointment of loyalists to the IFRC Russian branch, the journalistic investigation concluded.

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