The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, arrived on Saturday (11) at Kyiv For a customized visit to request Ukraine to enter European Union (EU). You meet the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyand Prime Minister Dennis Schmeigal.
“We will discuss the joint work required for reconstruction and Ukraine’s progress towards Europe,” von der Leyen told reporters in Kyiv. The head of the European Commission had already traveled to Kyiv on April 8.
President Volodymyr Zelensky calls for more “legal participation” so Ukraine can formally apply to the EU – Photo: Valentin Ogirenko
Ukraine is demanding concrete “legal participation” by the end of June on the part of Europeans to formalize its candidacy to join the European Union, on which there is no consensus among the 27 member states. The bloc’s leaders are expected to comment on the issue next week, before a summit on June 23-24 is expected to address the issue.
Fierce fighting in the east
Von der Leyen arrives in Ukraine at a time when fighting is intensifying in the east. On Saturday morning, Zelensky’s office announced that bombings were carried out by “occupiers” during the night in several Donbass cities, in particular around Kharkiv, Lugansk and Donetsk.
“The Russia Ukraine’s president said Friday night that Ukraine’s modern technology “wants to destroy every city in Donbass, every single one of them, without exaggeration,” emphasizing an appeal to Western countries to provide military materials.
In Severodonetsk, the main objective of Russia In the east, the fighting continues. Russian forces control most of this city, which is considered strategic for Moscow.
“The enemy continues its offensive against Severodonetsk,” the Ukrainian military said in a statement this morning. According to the memo, the Russian forces managed to stop 14 attacks in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the past 24 hours, but the Russians are advancing on the outskirts of the Orekovo municipality.
Cholera epidemic in Mariupol
Kyiv also appealed to the international community to provide humanitarian aid, in the face of the spread of diseases such as cholera and dysentery in Mariupol, in the southeast of the country. In this city reduced to rubble by the Russian army, health facilities were completely destroyed and corpses littered the streets for weeks.
“The war that killed 20,000 people, unfortunately due to this infection, will cost the lives of thousands of residents more,” said the mayor of Mariupol, Vadim Boychenko. He also called on the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to organize a humanitarian corridor to allow the evacuation of people who have not yet been able to leave the site.
In cities where Ukrainian forces could retake control, independent organizations are conducting investigations into possible war crimes. On Friday, the NGO Human Rights Watch published a report on its actions in Chernihiv, 120 kilometers north of Kyiv, which was besieged by Russian forces in March.
According to the NGO, Russia It violated the agreements currently in force, indiscriminately killing Ukrainian citizens. One of the investigators, Bilqis Wille, worked on the site and spoke with RFI.
“Many of the attacks we have documented clearly violate the laws of war,” he says. “For example, one such attack killed 47 Ukrainian civilians in an area where there was no military objective.”
To come to this conclusion, the group spent a week at the site collecting information and evidence, such as satellite images, photos and videos, as well as taking testimonies from residents. “I hope the authorities – whether from the International Criminal Court, Ukraine or other European countries – will continue these investigations to obtain explanations from the Russian leaders who ordered and authorized these attacks,” he said.
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