Ukraine is confident of mastering the road to EU membership. At the same time, however, the military situation around the embattled city of Lyssychansk in the east of the country is getting worse. Russia claimed to have breached Ukrainian positions there. There was another air alert throughout the country on Saturday night. The United States promised further military aid to the country attacked by Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is optimistic that his country will meet the criteria for EU membership. Ukraine is now concentrating on EU requirements, the head of state said in his evening video address. “But does that scare us? no Because we have successfully completed hundreds before that.” The criteria for accession include the rule of law, the fight against corruption, guarantees of fundamental rights and a functioning market economy.
Zelenskyy called on his compatriots to be happy about the decision of Thursday’s EU summit to give Ukraine the status of a candidate country. “It didn’t fall from the sky. Ukraine has done a lot for that.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry sees the decision to allow Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova to join the EU as anti-Moscow policies. The European Union is thus continuing its line of penetrating the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) for the purpose of containing Russia, spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced on Friday evening in Moscow.
In Georgia on the Black Sea, tens of thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday night for the South Caucasus republic to join the EU. In the capital, Tbilisi, they also demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. The Georgian media reported that his government had not done enough to ensure that Georgia became a candidate for EU membership.
There were conflicting reports about the situation in Lysychansk on the west bank of the Seversky Donets River. The Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow announced that Russian troops had blocked the city from the south. The defenses of Ukrainian troops had been breached, it said.
The general staff of the Ukrainian army had previously spoken of air attacks by Russia on Lysychansk. “The Ukrainian defenders successfully fended off a storm on the southern outskirts of Lysychansk.” All of the information is difficult or impossible to independently verify.
On the night of Saturday, the air alarm was once again triggered across the country. This emerged from a corresponding map of the situation. As the Ukrainian news site 24tv reported, there were reports of explosions from the city of Zaporizhia in the south-east.
An adviser to the Ukrainian president, Oleksiy Arestovych, does not expect Russian troops to take over the entire Donetsk region. To do this, four cities would have to be conquered, he said according to the portal strana.news. The Slovjansk – Kramatorsk conurbation, where a good half a million people lived before the war, is considered to be particularly well fortified. There is the headquarters of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Donbass region.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured Ukraine that his country would continue to provide military assistance. “You fight not only for yourself, but for all of us,” said Blinken in Berlin. Since the beginning of the war, his country has provided Ukraine with defense aid worth around 6.1 billion US dollars (around 5.8 billion euros). “We will continue this as long as it lasts,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko in St. Petersburg. According to the Russian news agency Interfax, the talks are about expanding the strategic partnership between the two countries.