Blinken bolsters Ukraine: 'Absolutely essential' to send weapons

Antony Blinken and French Defence Minister, Sebastien Lecornu, shake hands as they visit arms manufacturer NEXTER that provides Caesar artillery to Ukraine in Versailles
Antony Blinken and French Defence Minister, Sebastien Lecornu, shake hands as they visit arms manufacturer NEXTER that provides Caesar artillery to Ukraine in Versailles Copyright Thomas Padilla/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Thomas Padilla/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was "absolutely essential" to send weapons to Ukraine on a trip to an arms factory in France.

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday said it was "absolutely essential" to send more weapons to Ukraine.

Blinken made the remark during a visit to an arms factory in Versailles with French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu.

Defence officials continue to warn that Ukraine remains heavily outgunned by Russia on the battlefield, and note persistent reports of Ukrainian troops rationing or running out of ammunition on the front lines.

Just last month, Ukrainian troops withdrew from the eastern city of Avdiivka, where outnumbered defenders had held off a Russian assault for four months.

Troops complained of running low on ammunition while facing a constant barrage of airstrikes from glide bombs, enormous unguided Soviet-era weapons, retrofitted with a navigational targeting system, that obliterate everything around them, as well as motion-sensing explosive drones that could enter buildings and hunt personnel.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace for talks on Ukraine and stabilising Haiti
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace for talks on Ukraine and stabilising HaitiThomas Padilla/AP

Around 20 countries sign up to Czech initiative to buy ammunition for Ukraine, Czech PM says

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said during his visit this week to Lithuania that around 20 countries have joined the Czech ammunition initiative in support of Ukraine and the first ammunition from this initiative could be delivered to Ukraine as early as in June. According to Prime Minister Fiala, the amount of aid to Kyiv should reach several hundred thousand pieces of ammunition.

President Putin says more than 3 million received Russian passport in Ukrainian regions

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said that more than 3.2 million people have received Russian passports in Ukrainian regions controlled by Russia.

"More than 3,200,000 residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions have received passports as citizens of the Russian Federation," Putin said at a meeting with law enforcement officers in Moscow.

Putin also urged authorities to ensure that people seeking Russian citizenship respect the country's values.

"The principle is that only those who respect our traditions, language, culture, and history can come and live and work in Russia", Putin said.

"This principle must be decisive", he added.

Eight adults and five children injured in attack on Dnipro

Russian troops launched a rocket attack on the city of Dnipro overnight, injuring 13 people.

Eight of the wounded were hospitalized. All are in moderate condition. The rest were treated on the spot. They will be treated at home.

Five children aged 14 to 17 were injured, four of whom were hospitalized. A kindergarten, a college and an enterprise were destroyed by the missile attack.

A fire broke out on the territory of the enterprise on an area of 150 square metres, which has already been extinguished by rescuers.

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A total of 55 rescuers and 11 pieces of equipment were engaged in the firefighting operations.

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