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18 May. 2023

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Zelenskyy's tour before the counteroffensive: results of his visit to Europe

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Zelenskyy's tour before the counteroffensive: results of his visit to Europe

The Ukrainian authorities do not hide the fact that preparations for the Armed Forces' counteroffensive are almost complete, and only some equipment and weapons are missing. Find out more about the results of Zelenskyy's three-day European tour and what the EU countries will provide for Ukraine.

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In three days, Volodymyr Zelenskyy managed to visit the leaders of Italy, the Vatican, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. A similar tour had already taken place in February, when it became known that a "tank coalition" had been created and other heavy equipment had been transferred to Ukraine, which had previously been a taboo topic for European leaders. 


However, in the winter, the issue of the transfer of aircraft remained unresolved. So during the latest talks, the President of Ukraine openly stated that the "fighter jet coalition" should be formed as soon as possible.


Let's analyze together what results Zelenskyy's visit to European capitals brought.


What did Italy promise?


Earlier, Ukraine received multiple launch rocket systems and some armored vehicles from Rome. Judging by the recent statements of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, during the new meeting, it was about Italian air defense systems that successfully shoot down ballistic missiles. 


In addition, Italy pledged indefinite support and signed a declaration on Ukraine's course toward the EU and NATO, an important step ahead of the Alliance summit to be held in Vilnius this summer.


We wrote more about the NATO Secretary General's statements after Zelenskyy's visit and the steps Ukraine needs to take to join the Alliance here


Visit to Pope Francis: what is known about the talks in the Vatican?


The main topic discussed during the meeting was humanitarian support for Ukraine. In particular, it was about promoting the Ukrainian peace formula and the release of deported children and prisoners, both military and civilian.


Despite previous ambiguous statements by the leader of the Catholic Church that put the aggressor country and Ukraine on the same level, Zelenskyy summed up the talks with the Pope with a loud statement that they could influence history and help stop the war.


What kind of assistance will Germany provide?


Prior to Zelenskyy's visit to Berlin, Germany announced an unprecedented €2.7 billion military aid package. It includes dozens of Leopard tanks and Marder armored personnel carriers and several IRIS-T air defense systems.

The details of the talks with Olaf Scholz were not disclosed, but Zelenskyy confirmed that the main topic was the transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine.


In addition, despite the difficult relations with Germany, the German government signed a declaration supporting Ukraine's NATO course and awarded Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people the Charlemagne Prize for their significant contribution to the unification of Europe.




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Results of the visit to France


According to officially announced data, France promised to provide Ukraine with dozens of armored infantry vehicles and AMX-10RC wheeled tanks. There were no statements about aircraft, but it is known that the defense of Ukrainian skies was actively discussed with Emmanuel Macron. They discussed both air defense systems and fighter jets.


It is also important that France has signed a declaration of support for Ukraine's movement toward NATO.


What kind of support did the UK promise?


A significant contribution to the Armed Forces' counteroffensive from the UK became known a few days before Zelenskyy's visit. It was the transfer of Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles. 


By the way, it is already known that the Ukrainian military has successfully used these weapons.


After the talks, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the provision of several hundred attack drones capable of hitting targets at a distance of more than 200 kilometers and missiles for air defense systems.


So we hope that in the near future Zelensky's tour will bring even more significant contributions to the offensive potential of the state, and that European leaders will announce the transfer of fighter jets to Ukrainian soldiers, which is the last link to launch a counteroffensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.


We remind you! The debate over the duration of the military operations in Ukraine is a controversial one. However, experts believe that a protracted conflict is unlikely. Read about whether russia can wage a long war and how putin's plans have changed in our previous article.


Photo: Federico Gambarini/Pool via REUTERS




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