Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the leaders of the European Council during their summit in Brussels from Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 24, 2022. —
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticised European Union leaders, saying that sanctions and support for Ukraine came «a little late».
«You have applied sanctions. We are grateful. These are powerful steps but it was a little late,» Zelenskyy said in an address to the EU council.
«If it had been preventive, Russia would not have gone to war. At least no one knows for sure. There was a chance,» he added.
He commended Germany for blocking Nord Stream 2 but again reiterated that the move could have been more timely.
The Ukrainian president also reiterated a plea to join the European Union, begging leaders not to «be late» on letting the country in.
The EU summit was the third major meeting of western leaders on Thursday to discuss Ukraine one month after Russia began its invasion of the neighbouring country.
What are the latest updates on the situation?
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- Civilians are starving in Mariupol, the city council said in a statement on Telegram, emphasising that «more and more people are left without any food supplies» in the port city that has been under siege since early March.Ukrainian forces are striking «high-value targets in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine» including a landing ship, the UK Ministry of Defence has said.Ukraine’s armed forces said in a statement that a large Russian landing ship was destroyed during an attack on the Berdyansk port. Large landing ships «Caesar Kunikov» and «Novocherkassk» were damaged, they added.Ukraine accused Russia of forcing civilians into Russia to pressure Kyiv to surrender.Russia is running out of precision-guided munitions, a senior Pentagon official said, according to Reuters.
Russians and Ukrainians exchanged prisoners on Thursday, according to the Ukrainian deputy prime minister and the Russian human rights delegate.
US President Joe Biden will travel to Poland on Friday close to the border with Ukraine as the country hosts more than two million refugees.
What is the latest that Western leaders saying about the conflict?
- US President Joe Biden said he wanted Russia out of the G20, and that a Russian chemical weapons attack in Ukraine would «trigger a response in kind».UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC he wasn’t sure that Vladimir Putin wanted peace and said the Russian president was trying to «Grozynyfy» Ukrainian cities, referring to the Chechen city of Grozny.German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says the world is united in its response to the Russian attack on Ukraine last month and said that sanctions against Russia were proving to be powerful.
How many refugees have fled Ukraine?
In the month since the war began, more than 3.6 million people have fled the war in Ukraine. Most of them have fled to neighbouring Poland, which has taken in over two million refugees.
Millions of Ukrainians are also internally displaced within the country as heavy fighting and shelling forces people to flee several cities.
More than half of Ukraine’s child population is displaced, according to the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.
Ukraine war — latest pictures
A man walks on the debris of a burning house, destroyed after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 24, 2022.Felipe Dana/AP Photo
A refugee fleeing the war from neighbouring Ukraine with his family looks out of a tent after crossing the border by ferry at the Isaccea-Orlivka border crossing in Romania.Andreea Alexandru/AP Photo
Anti-tank barricades are placed on a street as preparation for a possible Russian offensive, in Odesa, Ukraine, Thursday March 24, 2022.AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris
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Additional sources • AP, AFP