Zelenskyy’s in-Person Appeal to G7 Leaders Could Be ‘Game Changer’

  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Hiroshima on Saturday for the G7 summit.
  • He urged G7 leaders for steadfast support during Russia’s war with Ukraine.
  • His visit came as Russia’s Wagner group claimed to have gained control of Bakhmut.

Days before leaders of the most powerful democracies met in Japan for the annual G7 summit, Ukrainian officials expressed uncertainty about an in-person appearance from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, citing ongoing conditions of the war with Russia.

“Everything will depend on the situation on the battlefield. The final decision will be made after a careful analysis of the situation on the battlefield,” Igor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, told Kyodo News.

But on Saturday, Zelenskyy made the visit to Hiroshima, dressed in his expected muted green outfit, to urge G7 leaders, face-to-face, to continue providing steadfast support for Ukraine.

“Together with all of our allies and partners, we have achieved such a level of cooperation, which ensures that democracy, international law, and freedom are respected,” Zelenskyy said on Twitter, sharing a video of his photo-op with G7 leaders.


Zelenskyy’s last-minute appearance was the first in-person visit to a G7 summit from the Ukrainian leader since the Russian invasion began last February. Previously, he was a virtual attendee at the summit, during which he said he hoped that the war would end by the end of 2022, CNN reported.

The visit also gave Zelenskyy an opportunity to sit down with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines. India has so far shied away from providing support for Ukraine and has even tried to convince G20 countries not to call the Russia-Ukraine conflict a “war.”

“The war in Ukraine is a big issue for the whole world,” Modi said, according to CNN. “It has also had many effects on the whole world. But I don’t consider it to be just an issue of economy or politics. For me, it is an issue of humanity.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said Zelenskyy’s visit “can be a game changer,” and that it was a “unique opportunity” for Zelenskyy to have “exchanges with a lot of countries from the south and express your situation, express a message, and share a view,” The New York Times reported.

Zelenskyy’s visit came just as Russia’s defense ministry and the head of the paramilitary group, Wagner, claimed to have seized the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, The Associated Press reported. The defense ministry released a statement on a Telegram channel about eight hours after Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin made the claim of Bakhmut’s capture.

Ukrainian officials called the situation “critical,” earlier on Saturday according to CNN, but said that Ukraine’s forces still hold part of the city. By late Saturday night Pacific Time, early Sunday Eastern Time, Zelenskyy seemed to confirm that the city had fallen: “For today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts.”

Update: May 20, 2023, at 11:31 p.m. PT — This story has been updated to reflect Zelenskyy’s latest comments about Bakhmut.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general
Shopping cart