Follow the latest updates from the war in Ukraine
Spanish premier visits Kyiv
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez started Spain's six-month presidency of the European Union with a lightning visit to Kyiv on Saturday to underline the bloc’s support of Ukraine in the face of the invasion by Russia.
Sánchez arrived in the capital by train from Poland to address the Ukrainian parliament and give a press conference with Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Zelenskyy announced the visit Thursday in an address to European leaders gathered for a summit in Brussels. He highlighted the symbolism of the visit and the importance of the next six months for Europe. He added that it was the moment to begin negotiations for Ukraine’s entry into the EU.
Speaking Friday in Brussels, Sánchez said, “The war in Ukraine will be one of the great priorities of our presidency, with the focus being on guaranteeing the unity (on the issue) among all member states.”
This is Sánchez’s third trip to Kyiv since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.
Zelenskyy complains of slow progress on pilot training
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday accused unspecified Western partners of dragging their feet over plans to train Ukrainian pilots to fly combat aircraft.
"Do they have any idea when Ukraine will be able to get F-16s?", Zelenskyy told reporters alongside Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, referring to the West. "There is no timetable for training missions. I think some partners are dragging their feet. Why are they doing it? I don't know."
US considers sending Ukraine cluster bombs
The United States is considering providing cluster munitions to Ukraine, the top American military officer said Friday.
Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the US has been thinking about providing the munitions “for a long time.” He noted that Russian troops are using them on the battlefield in Ukraine and that Ukrainian forces have received and deployed cluster bombs from other allies.
“The Ukrainians have asked for it, other European countries have provided some of that, the Russians are using it,” Milley said at the National Press Club. “There’s a decision making process ongoing.”
Cluster bombs are weapons that open in the air, releasing submunitions, or “bomblets,” that are dispersed over a large area and are intended to wreak destruction on multiple targets at once.
Proponents of banning them say they kill indiscriminately and endanger civilians long after their use.
CIA chief's visits to Ukraine revealed
CIA Director William Burns recently visited Ukraine, where he met intelligence officials and President Volodymyr Zelensky, a US official confirmed to AFP on Friday.
The trip, which was not made public at the time, took place as Ukrainian forces continue their counter-offensive against Russian forces.
On this occasion, Mr Burns reaffirmed "the American commitment to sharing intelligence to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression", the American official said on condition of anonymity.
According to the US daily The Washington Post, which was the first to report on the trip, Ukrainian leaders outlined plans to retake territory occupied by Russian forces and begin ceasefire negotiations by the end of the year.
The trip took place in June, the paper reported. The US has also tried to make it clear to Russia that it had played no part in the recent rebellion by Wagner forces led by Yvgeny Prigozhin.