Zelensky Visits Japan for G7 Summit, Looking for Army Support

KYIV, Ukraine — President Volodymyr Zelensky’s determination to embark on a flurry of abroad journeys amid closing preparations for a Ukrainian counteroffensive was met with assist from some residents of the capital, Kyiv, on Friday, simply hours after it got here beneath assault for the tenth time this month.

The president’s current journey — he visited 4 European capitals over the weekend and Saudi Arabia on Friday, and can attend a Group of seven assembly Japan this weekend — stood in distinction to a lot of the primary 12 months of the struggle, when Mr. Zelensky’s alternative to remain in Ukraine turned an emblem of defiance and solidarity.

Now, residents interviewed on the streets of Kyiv mentioned that they had been heartened by the nice and cozy reception Mr. Zelensky had been receiving overseas at a time when continued assist from allies was vital.

“I feel that it’s superb, as a result of he builds bridges between all nations,” mentioned Neonila, a 76-year-old retired sanitation employee, who like many interviewed for this text requested that solely her first title be used due to fears of reprisal.

At every cease on his diplomatic tour, Mr. Zelensky has labored to shore up assist and ask for extra weapons for the struggle in opposition to Russia’s aggression. His whirlwind journey to Germany, France and Britain final weekend reaped billions of {dollars} in new army help.

“His each go to is ending positively,” Neonila mentioned as she purchased greens at a stall within the metropolis heart. “We’re given one thing.”

Whereas few individuals interviewed in Kyiv appeared against the journey, some questioned Mr. Zelensky’s motives.

The journeys are good for the president’s “rankings,” mentioned Liudmyla, 75, as she sat on a Kyiv park bench within the solar with a buddy.

“He’s constructing a picture for himself, for the longer term elections,” she mentioned.

Kateryna Papusha, who was sitting subsequent to her child daughter’s stroller within the park, mentioned she backed the journey as a result of some overseas leaders have been unable or afraid to go to Ukraine.

“I’m supportive of his visits overseas, as a result of each go to is sort of productive,” she mentioned. “There are some agreements, some assist, some assist for Ukraine.”

Being near somebody concerned within the preventing has made her pay particular consideration to the bulletins of recent weapons pledges, Ms. Papusha added.

Most Ukrainian males have been barred from leaving the nation because the struggle started, and the toll of practically 15 months of preventing has been felt throughout the nation. Volodymyr Pylypenko, 45, who was wounded preventing in japanese Ukraine, mentioned Friday that he didn’t carefully observe Mr. Zelensky’s actions.

“I’m extra involved in regards to the state of affairs on our entrance,” he mentioned, smoking a cigarette as he stood outdoors a hospital.

However that doesn’t imply he thinks a wartime president ought to keep put, he mentioned. Since a basic is commanding the armed forces, he mentioned, Mr. Zelensky can deal with the overseas politics.

“If he does one thing good for Ukraine, it’s solely a plus,” Mr. Pylypenko mentioned.

Valentyna Horbachiova, 65, expressed a way of urgency, saying the abroad journey was “very wanted proper now” — particularly given the current assaults on Kyiv.

“If he will likely be touring extra and speaking to individuals excessive up, perhaps peace will likely be established right here, perhaps we will likely be supported,” she mentioned whereas ready to choose up her grandchildren from college.

For Mr. Zelensky to remain within the capital out of solidarity would do nothing, mentioned Ms. Horbachiova, who described “terrible” assaults she had witnessed from her 18th ground house.

“What would change if he sits right here? We wouldn’t be shelled?” she requested. “We might be shelled simply as a lot — perhaps much more in the event that they knew that he was right here.”

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button