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War in Ukraine: the European Union wants to train kyiv troops

After delivery of offensive weapons, training of soldiers.

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War in Ukraine: the European Union wants to train kyiv troops

After delivery of offensive weapons, training of soldiers. On Monday, the European Union (EU) announced that it wanted to help train Ukrainian troops. A jump in the support offered to the country, which is going through its 181st day of war and of which 9,000 soldiers are said to have died in the conflict, according to a report still subject to caution. At the same time, kyiv is worried about a major attack, while Russia seems to be skating in the territories it is targeting, east of Ukraine.

The EU is considering a significant increase in its military support for Ukraine, which would take the form of sending an "important" training mission for the Ukrainian army, the head of European diplomacy revealed on Monday. This mission would take place in countries neighboring Ukraine, said Josep Borrell, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Policy, during a press conference in Santander (northern Spain). He specified that this proposal would be debated next week in Prague during the Council of Defense Ministers of the member countries of the Union.

The head of European diplomacy underlined the length and the resources mobilized in this war. "We are facing a large-scale war", "a conventional war", explained Josep Borrell. "Not an asymmetrical guerrilla war", but "a war which mobilizes extraordinarily large means and hundreds of thousands of soldiers". "Therefore, any mission must be at the height of the conflict", he summarized . "Ten million Ukrainians have left their country, it's as if 20% of Spaniards had left Spain", explained Josep Borrell. A few days earlier, the United States announced to provide offensive weapons to Ukraine, while Russian troops seem to be bogged down on the eastern front.

The calm, before the assault. Russia would seek to engage Ukraine in new negotiations, to gain time, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency told AFP on Monday. For weeks, the Kremlin "has been trying to convince Ukraine to enter into negotiations" to "freeze the conflict while preserving the status quo in the occupied Ukrainian territories", said Mikhaïlo Podoliak in the sixth month of the war launched by Moscow . Russia "transmits its proposals through various intermediaries", he added without naming them, while according to kyiv no political contact with Russia currently exists.

Ukraine believes that in reality, Moscow "does not want a dialogue" of serious peace but seeks to obtain "an operational pause for its army" before launching "a new offensive" against its neighbor, according to Mikhaïlo Podoliak. The Ukrainian authorities fear in particular a symbolic strike on August 24, the day of independence, which celebrates the exit of the USSR and therefore from the Russian bosom.

kyiv rejects any negotiated solution for the territories under Russian occupation, which it aspires to take back just like those under the control of the pro-Russian separatists in the East and the Crimea annexed in 2014. "All the other scenarios (...) represent only 'a dangerous operational pause before a new round of the war,' said Mikhaïlo Podoliak, while assuring that "the Ukrainians will resist for as long as it takes". "It's an existential war, we have no other solution. Giving up the fight will not only mean the destruction of the Ukrainian state but also that of all its civilians," he insisted. Initial negotiations between kyiv and Moscow in the first weeks of the war did not yield results.

All eyes turn to kyiv. The Russian security services (FSB) accused Ukraine on Monday of having killed the daughter of a reputed ideologue close to the Kremlin, who died in the explosion of his car near Moscow, Vladimir Putin denouncing a "despicable crime" . Daria Dougina, 29, was killed on Saturday evening in the explosion of the vehicle she was driving on a road near the village of Bolchiye Viaziomy, about forty kilometers from Moscow. Journalist and political scientist, she was the daughter of Alexandre Douguine, an ultranationalist ideologist and writer promoting an imperialist doctrine. Like her father, she was a fierce supporter of the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

"The murder was prepared and committed by Ukrainian special services," the FSB said in a statement. According to the same source, the car driven by Daria Duguina was trapped by a woman of Ukrainian nationality born in 1979, identified by the FSB as Natalia Vovk, who arrived in Russia in July with her minor daughter, born in 2010. In a message from condolences, Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced a "despicable, cruel crime", which "prematurely ended the life of Daria Duguina, a brilliant and talented person with a truly Russian heart". Alexander Dougin, nicknamed by some media "the brain of Putin", is sometimes presented as being close to the Russian president. But the latter has never supported him publicly and many observers put his influence in the Kremlin into perspective.

The count should be taken with caution. About 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in six months of Russian invasion, said Monday the commander-in-chief of the army Valery Zalouzhny, quoted by the Interfax-Ukraine agency. This is one of the rare declarations of Ukrainian officials about military losses in kyiv in this war, launched on February 24 by Moscow. The previous estimate dates from mid-April, when President Zelensky said up to 3,000 Ukrainian servicemen had been killed and around 10,000 wounded since the start of the Russian offensive.

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