- Zelenskyy warns of a long war
This article was last updated at 01:43 UTC/GMT
US Senate confirms Bridget Brink as ambassador to Ukraine
Bridget Brink was confirmed by the US Senate as Ambassador to Ukraine on Wednesday evening. The position has been vacant for three years.
The vote to confirm Brink was unanimous.
Zelensky says the war will be long
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sought to prepare the Ukrainian public for a long war in their country during his nightly video address on Wednesday evening.
He said to the Ukrainian people: “Kherson, Melitopol, Berdyansk, Enerhodar, Mariupol and all our towns and villages which are under occupation, under temporary occupation, should know that Ukraine will return”.
He said, however, that battlefield conditions would determine how long it would take for the territory to return to Ukrainian control.
“We are trying to do this as soon as possible. We are committed to driving out the occupiers and ensuring real security for Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said from Kyiv.
Ukraine has extended martial law and mass mobilization for 90 days until August 23.
Zelenskyy: Russia fired over 2,000 missiles
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia had fired more than 2,000 missiles at his country since February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine.
During his nightly video address, Zelenskyy said most of the missiles hit civilian infrastructure without providing any strategic benefit.
Russian missiles hit the southern towns of Mikolaiv and Dnipro over the past day, Zelenskyy said.
What happened in Russia’s war against Ukraine on Wednesday
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was expelling dozens of diplomats from several European countries in retaliation for their expulsions of Russian diplomatic personnel. Among those expelled are 34 French, 27 Spanish and 24 Italian diplomats.
Russia has also withdrawn the visas and press accreditations of Canadian journalists from CBC and Radio-Canada and is closing the organization’s office in Moscow.
Germany will donate 15 tanks to the Czech armed forces as part of a program in which Berlin aimed to help countries pass their stockpiles of Soviet weapons to Ukraine. The Czechs have given Ukraine heavy Soviet-era weapons worth at least $130m (€124m) and are in talks with Germany to buy up to 50 new ones additional Leopard A7+ tanks.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has offered Ukraine additional aid this year of up to nine billion euros ($9.5 billion). She said the fund would help the country cope with the ravages of war.
The EU also intends to mobilize up to 300 billion euros in investments by 2030 to end the bloc’s dependence on Russian oil and gas. The investments will include 10 billion euros for gas infrastructure, 2 billion euros for oil and the rest for clean energy, von der Leyen told reporters.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said sanctions against Russia were having a huge impact, but Russia said its economy was showing resilience. Russian Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov, however, was confident that inflation in Russia would slow further, adding that Russia had resisted the first hit of sanctions.
The United States also set up a new watchdog to establish legal action against Russia for crimes committed during its war against Ukraine and reopened its embassy in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
In February, the embassy was closed and diplomatic staff “temporarily relocated” to Lviv in western Ukraine. Many Western countries, including Germany, France and the United Kingdom, have reopened their embassies in Kyiv over the past month after Russian troops withdrew from the city to focus on an offensive in the east of the country.
Due to unease over Russia’s war in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden have submitted applications for NATO membership, although Turkey has decided to block the start of their NATO membership talks. NATO while making a series of military and political demands.
US President Joe Biden has said he expects Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the two Nordic nations’ bid to join the alliance would “probably not make much difference”.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was in “intense contact” with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the United States and the European Union to try to restore Ukrainian grain shipments and boost Russian fertilizer exports.
Catch up on all of Wednesday’s events surrounding the war in Ukraine.
ar/sms (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)