NATO warns of a long Ukrainian war as Russia’s attack follows Kyiv’s EU boost


Kyiv — The head of NATO advised on Sunday that the war in Ukraine could last for several years and EU executives should give Kyiv the status of a candidate to join the block, after which Ukrainian troops are fierce in Russia. He said he faced an attack.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg quoted Germany’s Bilt am Zontag as saying that the supply of state-of-the-art weapons to the Ukrainian army would increase the likelihood of liberating the East Donbus region from Russian control. it was done.

“We need to be prepared for the fact that it can take years. Don’t give up support for Ukraine,” he said. “Even if the costs are high, it is due not only to military support, but also to rising energy and food prices.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who visited Kyiv on Friday, made similar comments in an editorial in The Sunday Times in London about the need to prepare for a long war.

He told reporters on Saturday that his allies avoided “Ukrainian fatigue” and worked with Russian troops “in inches” to show Ukrainians that they had been there to assist them for a long time. He emphasized the need to “move forward.”

The editorial said this meant “making Ukraine receive weapons, equipment, ammunition and training faster than invaders.”

“Time is an important factor,” Johnson said. “It all depends on Ukraine’s ability to protect its soil faster than Russia can renew its offensive capabilities.”

Ukraine received significant support on Friday when the European Commission recommended granting EU candidate status. This is what European Union countries are expected to approve at this week’s summit.

This puts Ukraine on track to fulfill a desire that was considered out of reach before Russia invaded on February 24, even though actual membership could take years. Will ride.

Russia intensifies attacks

On the Ukrainian battlefield, Russian attacks intensified.

According to Ukrainian troops, Sieviero Donetsk, the main target of Moscow’s attack to take full control of the eastern part of Luhansk as Russian troops attacked areas outside the industrial city, again attacked with artillery and rockets. Received.

Ukrainian staff admitted that the army had suffered a military retreat at the Mettlekin settlement southeast of Severodonetsk.

“As a result of the bombardment and assault, the enemy has achieved partial success in the village of Mettlekin and is trying to gain a foothold,” he said in a Facebook post late Saturday.

Serhiy Gaidai, Governor of Luhansk Oblast, appointed to Ukraine, mentioned in another online post the “hard fight” at Metolkine.

Russia’s Tass news agency said many Ukrainian fighters had surrendered to Mettlekin, citing sources working for Russian-backed separatists.

In the northwest, several Russian missiles collided with a gas factory in the Izyum district, and Russian rockets fell on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, colliding with the city hall and at the block of the apartment. It ignited, but no casualties occurred. Ukrainian officials said.

Ukrainian officials also reported bombardment further west of Poltava and Dnipropetrovsk, saying that on Saturday three Russian missiles destroyed a fuel depot in the town of Novomoskovsk, injuring 11 people. Stated.

Ukrainian staff said Russian troops engaged in reconnaissance missions near the town of Krasnopilia were beaten with massive casualties on Saturday.

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield account.

Zelenskyy visits the front line

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a telegram post on Saturday that he visited the South Frontline soldiers in the Mykolaiv region, about 550 km (340 miles) south of Kyiv.

“Our brave men and women. Each of them is fully functional,” he said. “We will definitely do our best! We will definitely win!”

In the video, Zelensky in his trademark khaki T-shirt handed out medals and posed for selfies with military personnel.

Zelensky’s office also said it had visited the position of the National Guard in southern Odesa, west of Mykolaiv. Neither he nor his office said when the trip took place, but he did not give his usual night address on Saturday.

Zelenskiy, who has remained mostly in Kieu since Russia invaded Ukraine, has visited Kharkiv and two cities in the east near where the fighting took place without notice in recent weeks.