After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, began his first visit to Germany on Sunday. While there, he met with his German colleague and received an offer of unequivocal support in the shape of a significant new military aid package from Berlin.
“Already in Berlin,” Zelensky stated on his Twitter account. “Weapons. Completely formidable. Air defense. Reconstruction. EU. NATO. Security.”
The trip comes at a time when Kyiv is preparing a much-anticipated counter-offensive and comes after a day of meetings in Rome with Italian officials and Pope Francis. Zelensky’s visit comes at the same time.
A fresh detachment of forces has been trained by Ukrainian forces, and Ukrainian forces have been collecting weapons and weaponry that has been supplied by the West. According to observers, this will be an essential step towards regaining land that has been captured by Russia.
Germany was often accused of being reluctant to provide military equipment to Ukraine; but, in recent years, Germany has emerged as a significant supplier of tanks, rockets, and anti-missile systems.
At the Bellevue Palace, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was on hand to welcome Zelensky, and the businessman promptly signed the visitor’s book before the two began their discussion.
Even though the Ukrainian head of state’s itinerary in Germany has not been formally confirmed as yet, it is anticipated that he will meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz later on Sunday.
It is possible that he will also travel to the city of Aachen, which is located in western Germany. This year, the city of Aachen is going to present him and the Ukrainian people with the Charlemagne prize, which is a recognition given for efforts to promote European unity.
According to Bild Daily, the air force will provide protection for Zelensky while he is traveling to Aachen on a German government plane.
It is anticipated that Scholz, as well as the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki, will be present at the ceremony in Aachen.
A meeting with the leaders of Europe could be helpful in preparing the ground for an EU summit that will take place in Reykjavik the following Tuesday, which will be followed by a gathering of the G7 leaders in Hiroshima, Japan.
“A shameful chapter in history”
The visit by Zelensky brings to a close more than a year’s worth of turbulent ties with Germany, which is now one of the largest suppliers of arms to Ukraine, but only as a result of significant pressure from Kyiv.
On Saturday, Berlin announced that it will give Ukraine additional firing units and launchers for the Iris-T anti-missile system, as well as 30 extra Leopard 1 tanks, more than 100 armoured fighting vehicles, and over 200 surveillance drones. This was a clear demonstration of Berlin’s support for Kyiv.
Boris Pistorius, the minister of defense, was quoted in a statement as saying, “We all hope for a rapid end to this terrible war that Russia is waging against the people of Ukraine, but unfortunately this is not in sight.”
“This is the reason why Germany will supply all the help that it can, for as long as it is necessary,” he explained.
An advisor to Zelensky named Mykhaylo Podolyak praised the statement and stated that it signaled that Russia was “bound to lose and sit on the bench of historical shame.” He said this because the news indicated that Russia was “bound to lose.”
Kyiv had accused Germany of being overly conciliatory to Russian President Vladimir Putin early on in the conflict, while Berlin’s reliance on Russian energy had proven to be problematic.
In the weeks that followed the invasion, Kyiv had also ignored a visit from Steinmeier, which caused Scholz’s initial journey to the war-torn country to be postponed as a result.
Since that time, Steinmeier and Scholz have both traveled to Ukraine.
As Ukraine makes preparations for an offensive to reclaim territory in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk areas, as well as the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia districts in the south, ongoing military support from Germany is likely to be of the utmost importance.
During his recent tour to Ukraine, the Chief of the German Bundeswehr, Carsten Breuer, stated that the high-tech German-made Leopard 2A6 tanks that Kyiv is interested in acquiring have already been put to use at the frontlines.
According to Kyiv, the German Iris-T missile defense system is also contributing to Ukraine’s efforts to strengthen its defenses against potential Russian attacks on the country’s territory.
Both sides have asserted that they are gaining ground on the front line, which is located close to the town of Bakhmut, which serves as an eastern hotspot.
Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, made this statement on social media. “Our soldiers are moving forward in some areas of the front, and the enemy is losing equipment and manpower,” Syrskyi added.
Russia reported that its forces were continuing to advance inside of Bakhmut.
Bakhmut is referred to by its Russian name, Artemovsk, in the statement made by the defense ministry. “In the Donetsk direction, assault detachments liberated a block in the northwestern part of the city of Artemovsk,” the statement read.
The western allies have provided Ukraine with weaponry that are getting progressively more powerful. This week, Britain made the announcement that it will be delivering Storm Shadow missiles to Kyiv, making it the first country to transfer longer-range weapons to the Ukrainian capital.
Russia referred to it as a “extremely hostile step” and accused Kiev on Saturday of deploying British missiles to attack civilian sites in eastern Ukraine, which resulted in the injury of six children. This accusation came after Russia called the action as “an extremely hostile step.”
According to Zelensky, he discussed with Pope Francis in Rome the fate of “tens of thousands of children” that Kyiv claims were deported to Russia, as well as his plans for peace. Kyiv claims that the children were taken from Ukraine and sent to Russia.
In addition, Zelensky extended his gratitude to the Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, “for helping to save lives.”
Meloni’s response was, “I am convinced that Ukraine will win and be reborn stronger, more proud, and more prosperous than it was before,” and he said this with conviction.