Home » With Prospect of F-16s Closer, Zelensky Heads to the G7 Summit Strengthened

With Prospect of F-16s Closer, Zelensky Heads to the G7 Summit Strengthened

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KYIV, Ukraine — President Volodymyr Zelensky’s resolution to embark on a flurry of abroad journeys amid last 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 latest 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 yr of the battle, when Mr. Zelensky’s selection to remain in Ukraine grew to become an emblem of defiance and solidarity.

Now, residents interviewed on the streets of Kyiv stated 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 essential.

“I believe that it’s superb, as a result of he builds bridges between all international locations,” stated 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 navy support.

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

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

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

“He’s constructing a picture for himself, for the long run elections,” she stated.

Kateryna Papusha, who was sitting subsequent to her child daughter’s stroller within the park, stated she backed the journey as a result of some international 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 stated. “There are some agreements, some assist, some assist for Ukraine.”

Being near somebody concerned within the combating 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 battle started, and the toll of almost 15 months of combating has been felt throughout the nation. Volodymyr Pylypenko, 45, who was wounded combating in jap Ukraine, stated Friday that he didn’t intently monitor Mr. Zelensky’s actions.

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

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

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

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

“If he shall be touring extra and speaking to folks excessive up, perhaps peace shall be established right here, perhaps we shall be supported,” she stated whereas ready to select up her grandchildren from college.

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

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

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