Destination kyiv for Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The three heads of state boarded a special train together from Rzeszow (Poland) and arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Thursday morning.

Before meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the three leaders traveled to Irpin, on the outskirts of kyiv, where hundreds of civilians were killed when the Russians controlled the city. The French head of state claims to have seen “the stigmata of barbarism” on “a site, here, which was destroyed […]. The Russian army was stopped next to several other cities where massacres took place been perpetrated; where we have the first traces of what are war crimes”.

Emmanuel Macron recalled France’s “support” for “Ukraine and its population” – whose “heroism” he praised – through “aid for defensive and then offensive (military) equipment”, including cannons French self-propelled Caesar. The Europeans have, according to him, already “provided funding to rebuild these cities which have been affected, devastated for some”.

Finally, when asked about the statements in which he asserted that Russia should not be “humiliated”, and which were highly criticized in Ukraine, Emmanuel Macron defended himself: “France has been alongside Ukraine since the first day, […] without ambiguity.”

At the end of the visit to Irpin, the convoys of Heads of State left for the center of kyiv, heading for the Marinsky Palace, where Volodymyr Zelensky was waiting for them. A handshake, and the leaders disappeared for discussions away from the cameras, where the question of joining the European Union was to be central.

In an interview with the daily Bild, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was committed to helping Ukraine “as long as it takes”. During this visit, “we not only want to show our solidarity, we also want to ensure that the aid we are organizing: financial, humanitarian, but also when it comes to arms, will continue”, he said. he pointed out in this interview published at the time the three leaders arrived in Kyiv.

The German Chancellor has announced a multitude of arms deliveries to Ukraine since the start of the war, but these promises are currently struggling to materialize. This earned him many criticisms in kyiv as well as in his country. “All the leaders of our partner countries, and of course the Chancellor too, know perfectly well what Ukraine needs, the problem is just that the (arms) supplies from Germany are not at the level where they could be,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the German weekly Die Zeit on Wednesday.

In another interview with the German channel ZDF, he urged “not to try to find a balance between Ukraine and the relationship with Russia”. Olaf Scholz defends himself by assuring that Germany “will provide all the weapons” promised, but insists on the need for Ukrainian soldiers to first be trained to handle them.

The US president on Wednesday promised a billion dollars in additional military aid to Ukraine, also calling on his allies to “step up” arms deliveries to kyiv. The Ukrainians are indeed in difficulty against the Russians in the Donbass. Concretely, according to the Pentagon, this military aid includes in particular 18 Howitzers with their transport vehicles and 36,000 shells, as well as two Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers, intended for the coastal defense of Ukraine on the Black Sea.

The United States at the same time declared itself “concerned about China’s alignment with Russia”, asking Beijing to stop supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine to avoid placing itself “on the wrong side of the story”. This warning follows a telephone exchange between Chinese and Russian leaders during which Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his support for his “old friend” Vladimir Putin.

Two Americans who left to fight with Ukrainian forces have been missing for several days and may have been captured by Russia, according to elected officials and family members. Alexander Drueke and Andy Tai Huynh, both from the state of Alabama, took part in the fighting north of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. “We are aware of unconfirmed information about two American nationals captured in Ukraine,” said a spokesman for American diplomacy. “We are monitoring the situation closely and are in contact with the Ukrainian authorities.” A White House spokesman, John Kirby, for his part called on Americans not to go to the country to fight there: “It’s a war zone, there is fighting. If you want to support Ukraine, you can do it in many other ways”.

Russia said on Tuesday that it would set up a “humanitarian corridor” on Wednesday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. (GMT) to allow civilians who have taken refuge in the Azot factory to leave Severodonetsk in the direction of territories controlled by Moscow forces in the north. But the Russian Defense Ministry later accused Ukrainian forces of having “violated the ceasefire repeatedly” and of “using the humanitarian pause to redeploy to more advantageous (combat) positions”. .

A strategic city in eastern Ukraine, Severodonetsk has for several weeks been the scene of violent clashes between the Ukrainian army and the forces of Moscow as well as their pro-Russian separatist allies. According to the Ukrainian authorities, several hundred people are currently taking refuge in the large Azot chemical plant, which they claim is constantly bombarded. This situation recalls, on a lesser scale, that which existed in the large Azovstal metallurgical complex in Mariupol, a large port city in the south-east, which fell into Russian hands in May after several weeks of siege.

This Thursday, the governor of the Lugansk region, Serguiï Gaïdaï, indicated on Telegram messaging that around 10,000 civilians were still present in Severodonetsk. Before the start of the Russian invasion, the city had a population of 100,000.

Turkey is ready to host a “four-way meeting” with the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine to organize the transport of grain to the Black Sea, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said on Wednesday. Millions of tons of wheat are currently trapped in Ukrainian ports under blockade or Russian occupation and their transport is made dangerous by the presence of mines. According to the Turkish minister, the United Nations has submitted a plan to facilitate exports. “This plan could work without demining the sea lanes,” he said, referring to the establishment of “secure lines” in the Black Sea. “Demining would take too long. Turkey supports this plan and awaits the return of Russia. Technical meetings between soldiers continue,” he continued.