Zelensky braces for onslaught of Russian attacks due to EU summit – ‘We are ready!’

Zelensky slams Germany for not doing enough for Ukraine

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Leaders of the 27 EU states will meet on Thursday and Friday to make a decision about Kyiv’s application. In his nightly video address on Sunday, the Ukrainian President said he expected an “intensification” of Russian attacks.

He said: “Obviously, this week we should expect from Russia an intensification of its hostile activities.

“We are preparing. We are ready.”

Ukraine applied to join the EU four days after Russian troops began their invasion in February.

Last Friday, the European Commission recommended that Ukraine should receive candidate status.

EU leaders are expected to endorse Ukraine’s application despite some concerns from some member states.

However, the process itself may take many years to complete before Ukraine could become a full member.

Ukraine’s move towards EU membership would conflict with one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main ambitions when ordered troops to invade the country to keep Ukraine outside the Western sphere of influence.

However, on Friday Putin said Russia had “nothing against” Ukraine’s EU membership. 

Although a Kremlin spokesperson said Russia was closely following Kyiv’s bid especially due to increased defence cooperation among EU members.

It comes as Russian forces continue in their efforts to take control of the eastern Donbas region.

Moscow’s main target is the industrial city of Sievierodonetsk.

On Sunday, Russia said it had taken the village of Melekyne on the outskirts of the city. 

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According to Russian state news agency TASS, many Ukrainian troops had surrendered in the area.

Luhansk governor Serhiy Gaidai told Ukrainian TV that Russia controlled the “main part” of Sievierodonetsk.

On Sunday, the British Ministry of Defence said that both Russia and Ukraine have continued with heavy bombardment “with little change to the front line.”

According to Mr Gaidai, Russian shelling has destroyed buildings in Sievierodonetsk’s twin city of Lysychansk.

He said: “People are dying on the streets and in bomb shelters.”

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