Zelenskiy meets commanders on air defense

(Bloomberg) – The Chinese envoy, who recently visited Kyiv and Moscow, said it would be “difficult” for all parties to sit down to talk at this time as Beijing tries to negotiate a peace agreement. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States stands ready to respond in concert with Ukraine and other allies “if and when Russia is ready to work for real peace.” Speaking in Helsinki, Blinken said a ceasefire “that simply freezes the current lines in place” would “legitimize Putin’s land grab.” This will reward the abuser and punish the victim.

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Hungary’s prime minister called for a ceasefire ahead of Ukraine’s expected counteroffensive against Russia, prompting rebuke from one of Voldymyr Zelenskiy’s top aides. Viktor Orban’s position “insults the values ​​of the European Union and international law in general,” Mykhailo Podolyak said on Twitter. “If the Hungarian prime minister is really worried about the loss of life, he should call his ‘friend Putin’ and ask him to withdraw the Russian armed forces.”

Zelenskiy met with senior commanders to review air defense capabilities and efforts by third countries to help Russia circumvent sanctions and increase missile production, his office said. He also met his Estonian counterpart Alar Karis. Overnight, Ukraine shot down 15 cruise missiles and at least 21 Shahed drones over the Kyiv region, the sixth night in a row the capital was attacked from the air. No casualties were reported, after three people were killed in strikes the day before. Drone attacks have been reported across a widening swath of Russia, including the Smolensk region, about 250 km (155 miles) north of the border with Ukraine.

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