Zelensky Lands in Japan: G7 and Russia-Ukraine War News

KYIV, Ukraine — President Volodymyr Zelensky’s determination to embark on a flurry of abroad journeys amid remaining preparations for a Ukrainian counteroffensive was met with assist from some residents of the capital, Kyiv, on Friday, simply hours after it got here underneath assault for the 10th time this month.

The president’s current journey — he visited 4 European capitals over the weekend and Saudi Arabia on Friday, and will attend a Group of 7 assembly Japan this weekend — stood in distinction to a lot of the primary 12 months of the warfare, when Mr. Zelensky’s selection to remain in Ukraine turned an emblem of defiance and solidarity.

Now, residents interviewed on the streets of Kyiv mentioned they’d 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 think that it’s amazing, because he builds bridges between all countries,” mentioned 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 combat towards Russia’s aggression. His whirlwind journey to Germany, France and Britain final weekend reaped billions of {dollars} in new army assist.

“His every visit is ending positively,” Neonila mentioned as she purchased greens at a stall in town middle. “We are given something.”

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

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

“He’s building an image for himself, for the future elections,” she mentioned.

Kateryna Papusha, who was sitting subsequent to her baby daughter’s stroller in the park, mentioned she backed the journey as a result of some overseas leaders had been unable or afraid to go to Ukraine.

“I am supportive of his visits abroad, because every visit is quite productive,” she mentioned. “There are some agreements, some support, some help for Ukraine.”

Being near somebody concerned in the combating has made her pay particular attention to the bulletins of recent weapons pledges, Ms. Papusha added.

Most Ukrainian males have been barred from leaving the nation for the reason that warfare 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, mentioned Friday that he didn’t intently observe Mr. Zelensky’s actions.

“I am more concerned about the situation on our front,” he mentioned, smoking a cigarette as he stood exterior a hospital.

But that doesn’t imply he thinks a wartime president ought to keep put, he mentioned. Since a basic is commanding the armed forces, he mentioned, Mr. Zelensky can deal with the overseas politics.

“If he does something good for Ukraine, it’s only a plus,” Mr. Pylypenko mentioned.

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

“If he will be traveling more and talking to people high up, maybe peace will be established here, maybe we will be supported,” she mentioned whereas ready to choose up her grandchildren from college.

For Mr. Zelensky to remain in the capital out of solidarity would do nothing, mentioned Ms. Horbachiova, who described “awful” assaults she had witnessed from her 18th flooring condominium.

“What would change if he sits here? We wouldn’t be shelled?” she asked. “We would be shelled just as much — maybe even more if they knew that he was here.”

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