Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky He embarked on an important diplomatic mission to Italy and the Vatican on Saturday, where he held talks with senior officials of the Italian government and the Roman Catholic Church.
Upon his arrival, Zelensky wrote on Twitter that it was an “important visit to bring Ukraine’s victory closer”.
In Rome, Zelensky held separate meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Meloni promised Italy’s full support to Ukraine in its efforts to repel “brutal and unjust Russian aggression”. Speaking alongside Zelensky, she said Italy would continue to supply Ukraine With arms and support for his country for as long as possible.
“We are betting on Ukraine winning,” Meloni added. The Italian Prime Minister also renewed her support for Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union.
At a joint press conference, Zelensky thanked Meloni for “her help in saving lives”.
The Ukrainian leader’s visit marks his first to Italy since Russia launched its full-scale invasion early last year.
Here are some other notable developments related to Russia’s war in Ukraine on Saturday, May 13:
Zelensky asks Pope Francis for a stronger condemnation of Russia
After his talks with Mattarella and Meloni, Zelensky headed to the Vatican for a meeting Pope Francis.
“I am grateful for his personal interest in the tragedy of millions of Ukrainians,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “I spoke of tens of thousands of deported children.”
“In addition, I have asked Pope Francis to condemn the Russian crimes in Ukraine. Because there can be no equality between the victim and the aggressor,” he added, adding that he also asked the head of the Catholic Church to support a 10-point peace plan.
The Vatican said: “The pope has affirmed his constant prayer, testified by his many public appeals and constant invocation of the Lord for peace, since February last year.”
The pope had hinted to reporters that the Vatican’s “mission” to try to end the war was now under way, a statement that Moscow and Kiev publicly expressed astonishment. The Vatican has confirmed that something is in the works, without providing any details. The 86-year-old Pope has repeatedly called for peace and offered to mediate between Kiev and Moscow,
Earlier this week, Francis met Russia’s outgoing ambassador to the Vatican, Alexander Avdeev. Italian newspaper Il Messaggero It was reported that the Vatican may have given Avdeev a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Moscow says Russian forces are advancing into Bakhmut
The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces were still penetrating inside Bakhmut town on the front line He had wrested control of a district in the east of the Ukrainian city.
“In the direction of Donetsk, assault detachments liberated a residential block in the northwestern part of the city of Artemovsk,” the Defense Ministry said, referring to Bakhmut by its Russian name.
Meanwhile, a senior Ukrainian military commander said that Kiev forces were advancing along parts of the front line against Russian forces near Bakhmut.
“Our soldiers are advancing in some areas of the front, and the enemy is losing equipment and manpower,” Ukrainian Ground Forces commander Oleksandr Sersky said on social media.
Russian helicopter and warplane crash in the Bryansk region
Russian media reported that a military helicopter and a fighter jet crashed in the Bryansk region of Russia. It was not immediately clear what caused the accident.
Russia’s state news agency TASS reported that the helicopter crashed in an uninhabited area near the town of Klinsti. Videos posted on social media appeared to show the helicopter exploding before falling to the ground and engulfing in flames.
Tass later reported that a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jet had crashed in the same area. The circumstances of the accident were not immediately clear.
Russian media reported that both of those aboard the Mi-8 helicopter died, although there was no official confirmation from the Russian government.
Germany will send Ukraine a military aid package worth 2.7 billion euros
Germany promised Ukraine Other arms shipments worth 2.7 billion euros ($2.95 billion) ahead of a possible visit by President Zelensky to Germany, the German Defense Ministry announced on Saturday.
According to the ministry, the package, Germany’s largest to date, includes another 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 30 Leopard-1 tanks and four IRIS-T-SLM air defense systems.
“We all hope for a speedy end to this terrible war that Russia is waging against the Ukrainian people, but unfortunately that is not in sight. That is why Germany will provide all the assistance it can, for as long as it is necessary,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement.
Germany last year provided Ukraine with 2 billion euros in military support and allocated 2.2 billion euros for this year, although the details have yet to be finalized.
Zelensky: Russia lost “the war in their minds”
In his Friday evening address, Zelensky said the Russians were “already internally prepared for defeat.”
“They have already lost this war in their minds. We must pressure them every day so that their sense of defeat turns into their flight, their mistakes and their losses,” he said.
Ukraine claims to have recovered swathes of land from it Russian Forces near Bakhmut, the scene of the war’s longest and bloodiest battle.
On Friday, Moscow acknowledged the retreat of its forces north of the city.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, Head of the Russian Private Sector Wagner mercenary group She, who led the campaign in Bakhmut, said in an audio message that what Moscow “unfortunately called” defeat “and not regrouping.”
G7 financial leaders to warn of global uncertainty
the The financial leaders of the Group of Seven Wealthier G7 nations prepare to wrap up a three-day meeting in Japan with a warning of increasing economic uncertainty.
“The global economy has demonstrated resilience in the face of multiple shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, and associated inflationary pressures,” the leaders will say in a final draft of a statement seen by Reuters news agency.
“We need to remain vigilant and remain proactive and flexible in our macroeconomic policy amid growing uncertainty about the global economic outlook.”
More DW coverage of Russia’s war in Ukraine
South African Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned the American ambassador For the meeting regarding allegations he made the day before about the state supplying arms to Russia for the war in Ukraine.
A student with an anti-war slogan, a vocational school founder who does not want to be drafted into the army: Some people in Russia still oppose the war in Ukraine. They’re taking a huge risk in doing so, DW’s Juri Richito said in the video below.
ab, dh, lo / rc (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)
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