Since Saturday, Russia claims to have taken the last quarters it did not yet control in the key city of Bakhmout, while the Ukrainian army ensures progress around the city.
The Ukrainian head of state continued his diplomatic effort on Sunday, May 21. Arrived on Saturday in Hiroshima, Japan, where the G7 summit was held, Volodymyr Zelensky collected in front of the cenotaph of the victims of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. In a sober and very symbolic sequence, he laid a wreath of white flowers in front of the monument with ribbons in the yellow and blue colors of Ukraine, alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. But more than symbolic, this trip was diplomatic. Here’s what to remember from the day.
Volodymyr Zelensky obtains new commitments from the United States
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has secured new pledges of military hardware as well as diplomatic support from G7 countries. He secured the US promise of new deliveries of ammunition, artillery and armored vehicles worth $375 million, adding to the green light from Washington on Friday for the supply of the F-16 fighter jets that he’s been asking for a long time.
“By inviting President Zelensky to Japan, we showed the G7’s unwavering solidarity with Ukraine,” said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, host of the summit.
Russia castigates Zelensky’s presence at the G7
Russia said on Sunday that the presence of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 had made the summit a “propaganda show” who sent messages “anti-Russians” And “anti-Chinese”. “The G7 leaders invited the leader of the kyiv regime they control to their meeting and turned the Hiroshima event into a propaganda spectacle”, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The G7 has become “an incubator to develop, under the direction of the Anglo-Saxons, destructive initiatives that endanger global stability”, he castigated.
The Ukrainian army ensures “advance” around Bakhmout…
“Although we now control only an insignificant part of Bakhmout, the importance of its defense remains relevant,” said the commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Sunday, May 21, on Telegram. Speaking after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denied the total takeover of the devastated city in eastern Ukraine, claimed the day before by Wagner and Russian authorities, Oleksandre Syrsky added that the Ukrainian army continues “to advance on the flanks in the suburbs of Bakhmout”.
Moscow claimed on Saturday evening the total capture of this city. “As a result of the offensive actions of the assault units of Wagner, with the support of the artillery and aviation of the ‘South’ unit, the liberation of the city of Artemovsk [le nom soviétique de Bakhmout] is total”, said the Russian Ministry of Defense. However, the capture of Bakhmout claimed by Russia is a sham victory, believe Anglo-Saxon experts, because the forces of Kiev have gained ground around the city and forced the adversary into costly fights just before a major Ukrainian counter-offensive.
… Bakhmout, a city where there is “nothing left”
On Sunday, Volodymyr Zelensky said on the sidelines of the G7 summit that there were only “Nothing” in the city, and“today, Bakhmout is only in our hearts”. “Is Bakhmout still in the hands of Ukraine? The Russians say they have taken Bakhmout”, reporters asked him. The Head of State replied: “I do not think so”, without really knowing whether he was answering the first or the second part of the question. The Ukrainian President then “denied the capture of Bakhmout”according to details provided by his spokesperson, Serguiï Nykyforov.