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Ukraine claims advance in Bakhmut as President Zelenskyy arrives in Berlin

Ukrainian tanks ride near Bakhmut, an eastern city where fierce battles against Russian forces have been taking place, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, Friday, May 12, 2023.
Ukrainian tanks ride near Bakhmut, an eastern city where fierce battles against Russian forces have been taking place, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, Friday, May 12, 2023. Copyright LIBKOS/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright LIBKOS/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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Ukraine claims its soldiers have retaken a further one square kilometre area around Bakhmut as fierce fighting continues in the city. On Sunday morning, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Berlin for talks a day after Germany pledged billions of euros worth of new weapons to Ukraine.

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Ukraine’s defence ministry is claiming its soldiers have regained one square kilometre of territory around Bakhmut, as President Zelenskyy arrives in Berlin to shore up overseas support for the long-anticipated counteroffensive.

Matthias Schrader/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, greets Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, May 14, 2023.Matthias Schrader/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar says Ukrainian troops are advancing “dynamically” in the suburbs of Bakhmut.

But Russia also claims Wagner assault units “liberated a neighbourhood in the north-western part” of the city.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Berlin early Sunday for talks with German leaders about further arms deliveries to help his country fend off the Russian invasion and rebuild what's been destroyed by more than a year of devastating conflict.

A Luftwaffe jet flew Zelenskyy to the German capital from Rome, where he held talks on Saturday with Pope Francis and Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni.

On the eve of his arrival - which took place amid tight security - the German government announced a new package of military aid for Ukraine with aid worth more than €2.7bn, including tanks, anti-aircraft systems and ammunition.

"Already in Berlin. Weapons. Powerful package. Air defence. Reconstruction. EU. NATO. Security," Zelenskyy tweeted Sunday, in an apparent reference to the key priorities of his trip.

After initially hesitating to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons, Germany has become one of the biggest suppliers of arms to Ukraine, including Leopard 1 and 2 battle tanks, and the sophisticated IRIS-T SLM air-defence system. Modern Western hardware is considered crucial if Ukraine is to succeed in its planned counteroffensive against Russian troops.

After meeting Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other senior officials at the Chancellery, the two leaders are expected to fly to the western city of Aachen for Zelenskyy to receive the International Charlemagne Prize awarded to him and the people of Ukraine.

Organisers say the award recognises their resistance against Russia's invasion is a defence "not just of the sovereignty of their country and the life of its citizens, but also of Europe and European values."

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