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Zelensky Returns To Ukraine After 3 Days Europe Tour

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, leaves after meeting European Union leaders at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. European Union leaders are meeting for an EU summit on Thursday to discuss Ukraine and migration. (Yves Herman, Pool Photo via AP)

Kiev, – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky returned to Ukraine following
a busy trip that took him across Europe to garner more support from allies in Rome, Berlin, Paris and London.

“We are returning home with new defence packages: more ammunition, stronger weapons for the front,
more protection for our people, more political support.’’

The 45-year-old summed up the trip in a video message recorded on a train on Monday.

In all the talks held in Italy, Germany, France and Britain, Zelensky said he had discussed his peace formula
for a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine.

His trip had helped to bolster support for Ukraine joining the EU, Zelensky said.

“There is more understanding for NATO accession, it will come, it is inevitable.’’

The Ukrainian president had begun his most recent trip abroad by visiting Rome on Saturday, followed by stints
in Berlin and Paris on Sunday.

To round things off, he then jetted across the English Channel to hold talks with British Prime Minister Rishi
Sunak in London on Monday.

In Germany, he also received the prestigious Charlemagne Prize in the western city of Aachen.

The president thanked Berlin in particular for a new 2.7 billion euros (2.9 billion dollars) defence package.

Ukraine has been defending itself against a full-scale Russian invasion for more than 14 months with massive
Western help.

A major Ukrainian counter-offensive has been expected for some time.

Russian media reported earlier that the Russian-installed interior minister of the eastern Ukrainian region
of Luhansk, which Moscow annexed in violation of international law, has been seriously injured in an attack.

The reports said that a bomb destroyed a hairdressing salon in the centre of the city of Luhansk where
Igor Kornet, who acts in a caretaker capacity, apparently was at the time of the blast.

The 50-year-old was taken to hospital and is being treated in intensive care, it said.

According to the reports, one person was killed in the explosion and three of Kornet’s bodyguards
were injured.

Kornet was appointed interior minister by the Moscow-backed Luhansk separatists in 2014.

In October last year, Moscow officially annexed the territory bordering Russia after
launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. (dpa/NAN)(

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