Sunday, June 19, 2022

Ukraine Gets Possible Path to EU, Aid Pledges from Britain; Losing Troops in Ukraine, Russia Grapples With Its Manpower Problem; Dramatic Moment Low-flying Russian Helicopter Blasted by Ukrainian Missile; EU President Ursula von der Leyen Backs Ukraine Bid to Join Bloc, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP
Ukraine gets possible path to EU, aid pledges from Britain:
The European Union’s executive arm recommended putting Ukraine on a path to membership Friday, a symbolic boost for a country fending off a Russian onslaught that is killing civilians, flattening cities and threatening its very survival.
In another show of Western support, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv to offer continued aid and military training.
The European allies’ latest embrace of Ukraine marked another setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who launched his war nearly four months ago, hoping to pull his ex-Soviet neighbor away from the West and back into Russia’s sphere of influence.
At Russia’s showpiece economic forum in St. Petersburg on Friday, Putin said Moscow “has nothing against” Ukraine joining the EU, because it “isn’t a military organization, a political organization like NATO.” He also reprised his usual defense of the war, alleging it was necessary to protect people in parts of eastern Ukraine controlled by Moscow-backed rebels and to ensure Russia’s own security.
Johnson’s trip to Kyiv followed one Thursday by the leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Romania, who pledged to support Ukraine without asking it to make any territorial concessions to Russia. --->READ MORE HERE
Photographs by The Wall Street Journal
Losing Troops in Ukraine, Russia Grapples With Its Manpower Problem:
Moscow ponders how to extend military advances while avoiding crushing troop losses
As Russia tries to take the initiative in eastern Ukraine, Moscow has had to find fresh manpower from some unlikely places for what is shaping up to be a crucial phase of the war.
Since the beginning of what the Kremlin calls its special military operation, it has tried to pursue its campaign with an army at peacetime strength. The results have been mixed. Though Russian forces have made gains in the east and south of the country, they sustained crushing losses in Moscow’s initial attempt to seize Kyiv, by some counts losing as many soldiers as the old Soviet Union did in Afghanistan.
Yet Russia’s leadership has been reluctant to take the step of declaring war, which would allow it to order a full mobilization of fighting-age men. That, analysts say, would tie Russian President Vladimir Putin’s own fate too closely to the outcome.
Instead, Moscow has introduced a number of stopgap measures to reinforce its battle-depleted ranks, from offering lucrative short-term contracts to allowing over-40s to sign up, potentially making tens of thousands more soldiers available.
“There are macro signs that the Russians are having significant problems generating the kind of manpower they need, without going to a full mobilization,” said Phillips O’Brien, professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. --->READ MORE HERE
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