Zelensky visits the southern front of the war in Mykolaiv, in the Odessa region
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the Mikolaiv region on Saturday, on the war front with the Russian Army in the south of the country, in one of his first departures from the capital since the start of the war last February.
Zelensky discussed with local authorities the problems of repairing infrastructure damaged by the conflict, such as the water supply network, according to a statement from the Ukrainian presidency.
He also discussed other logistical issues, such as difficulties with this year’s harvest, the availability of grain storage centers, the creation of new transportation routes, and the supply of machinery and fuel to farmers.
On the other hand, the military authorities of the region informed him about the threats by land, in particular from the next Moldovan separatist region of Transnistria, and by sea in the Black Sea.
The president also inspected the Mikoláiv regional administration building, hit on March 29 by a Russian missile that left 37 civilians dead, according to local authorities.
“It is important to decide now how to help the members of these families, we must not forget them,” Zelensky said of relatives of those killed in the attack.
Two weeks ago, the Ukrainian president left kyiv for the first time since the start of the war for a trip to Kharkov, in the northeast of the country, and since then he has also gone to the Zaporizhia region, on the southern front.
Mikoláiv, just 100 kilometers from occupied Kherson and on the route to the strategic port city of Odessa, has been the target of Russian attacks since the beginning of the invasion, the last of which left two dead and twenty wounded this Friday. .
Stoltenberg warns Ukraine war could last “years”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that it is necessary to be prepared for the war in Ukraine to last possibly “years”, he said in an interview with the Sunday edition of the German newspaper “Bild”.
Although the costs for Europe are high, he pointed out in reference to the rise in energy prices and military support for kyiv, it would be even more “expensive” to let Russia draw the lesson that it can continue along the same path, just as after the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Stoltenberg admitted that the fight for Donbas on the part of Russia is taking on an increasingly “brutal” turn, but indicated that Ukrainian soldiers are fighting with “courage” and that “with more modern weapons” the possibility that they can expel the enemy increases. also from the east of the country.
Still, he made it clear that the allies will not send their own soldiers to fight in the war to avoid becoming part of the conflict.
Asked about the possibility of a nuclear war, the NATO secretary general pointed out that the alliance has not detected a higher level of alert in this area of the Russian armed forces, but described the Kremlin’s “saber noise” as “dangerous”. .
“Putin must know that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never break out,” he stressed.
In reference to the new strategic document that will be adopted by the Atlantic alliance at the next summit in Madrid, Stoltenberg stressed that it will declare that Russia “is a threat to our security, peace and stability.”
China will also figure in this new strategic declaration, since its rise “is a challenge to our interests, our values and our security,” said the NATO secretary general.
With regard to the accession of Sweden and Finland, he indicated that it would not only strengthen those two countries, but the alliance as a whole, but he was sympathetic to Turkey, which for the moment has vetoed the process.
Thus, he underlined the strategic importance of having Turkey as a partner in the alliance and asserted that “no NATO country has suffered so much from terrorism”, referring to the action of the armed group Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), classified as a terrorist in the European Union (EU).
“We take Turkey’s objections seriously and do our best to make them go away,” he said.
Sweden and Finland have traditionally granted asylum to Kurdish rights activists whom Turkey describes as terrorists and are reluctant to sell weapons to Ankara after it invaded northern Syria in 2018.