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Latest in Ukraine: Zelenskyy Visits Neighboring Poland


Poland's President Andrzej Duda honors Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy with The Order of the White Eagle at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Apr. 5, 2023.

New developments:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits Poland, updating leaders there on the war in Ukraine and meeting with Ukrainian refugees who fled after Russia’s full-scale invasion.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron, during visit to Beijing, says with China’s relationship with Russia it can “play a major role” in achieving peace in Ukraine.
  • International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi reiterated the “urgent need” to protect the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine as he met with Russian officials in Kaliningrad.
  • Russian bank VTB reports $7.7 billion in losses for 2022. Bank officials blamed Western sanctions that targeted Russia’s financial sector after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
  • Poland’s Agriculture Minister Henryk Kowalczyk announces resignation amid anger from Polish farmers about effects of Ukrainian grain imports on prices.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited neighboring Poland on Wednesday, giving leaders there an update on the war in Ukraine and meeting with Ukrainian refugees who fled after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Zelenskyy said the situation for Ukrainian forces in the eastern city of Bakhmut remains difficult and that “corresponding decisions” would have to be taken if Kyiv’s troops were at risk of being surrounded by Russian forces.

Zelenskyy discussed the state of the war with Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, as well as international support and cooperation for Ukraine. Zelenskyy thanked Poland for what he characterized as its historic assistance to the Kyiv government.

Duda said Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine that must be punished.

"Today we are trying to get for Ukraine … additional guarantees, security guarantees, which will strengthen Ukraine's military potential," the Polish president noted.

Poland has been a key ally for Ukraine. The U.N. refugee agency says there are 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees who have registered for temporary protection status in Poland.

People holding Ukrainian and Polish flags wait for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his visit to Warsaw, Poland, April 5, 2023.
People holding Ukrainian and Polish flags wait for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his visit to Warsaw, Poland, April 5, 2023.

Poland also has served as a main hub for other Ukrainian partners to send military and humanitarian aid.

On the war front, Ukrainian regional authorities said on the Telegram messaging site that three people were killed and another six were wounded in artillery attacks on the towns of Oleksievo-Druzhkivka and Velyka Novosilka in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donetsk region.

Russia’s RIA news agency said that a Ukrainian drone had crashed near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, even as the chief of the global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, was expected in Russia for talks on the plant's security.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday accused Western security services of having helped Kyiv stage "terror attacks" in Russia.

"There are grounds to assert" that other countries and Western intelligence services were involved "in staging sabotage and terrorist attacks," Putin said in televised remarks.

Putin's remarks came days after an explosion at a cafe in Saint Petersburg killed Vladlen Tatarsky, a high-profile military blogger and staunch supporter of Moscow's assault on Ukraine.

U.S. aid

The United States is providing Ukraine with a $2.6 billion military aid package that includes munitions for Patriot air defense systems and three surveillance radars.

The package also includes hundreds of thousands of ammunition rounds along with 155 mm and 105 mm artillery rounds, which Ukrainian forces have continued to quickly burn through as they counter Russia’s illegal invasion.

“Ammunition for HIMARS, for air defense, for artillery is just what we need,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address Tuesday. “Thank you Mr. President Biden, thank you Congress, thank you every American!”

A senior defense official, who spoke to reporters Tuesday on the condition of anonymity, said new equipment in the package such as nine 30 mm gun trucks could “detect and intercept drones such as the Iranian-built Shahed[s]” that Moscow is currently using in the fight.

About $500 million of the aid package announced Tuesday will provide ammunition and equipment from U.S. military stockpiles using the presidential drawdown authority. Another $2.1 billion will buy an array of munitions and weapons for Ukraine in the future.

The U.S. has now pledged more than $30 billion worth of security assistance to Ukraine since the invasion. When viewed as a percentage of donor country GDP, the U.S. ranks about 10th in its security donations to Kyiv.

Some material in this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.