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14 July 2024

In Ukraine, soldiers and civilians shrug off Zelensky’s summit

Messenger Desk

Published: 13:10, 15 June 2024

In Ukraine, soldiers and civilians shrug off Zelensky’s summit

Photo: Collected 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has lofty ambitions for a summit in Switzerland this weekend, but on the front line and in war-fatigued Kyiv, hopes for any major breakthrough are nearly nil. The conference convening some 90 countries and global institutions is coming at a perilous moment for exhausted Ukrainians and outgunned soldiers, after more than two years of war.

Sergiy, a deputy commander of a tank brigade deployed to the eastern Donetsk region where fighting is fiercest, said that when powerbrokers sit down to really thrash out an end to fighting, it probably won't be at a plush summit.

"Politics is politics," the 36-year-old told AFP, sceptical that the meeting would improve the situation in the Donetsk.

"Good weapons will do something, that's for sure."

Danylo, a 23-year-old drone operator also said the gathering would not bring about "drastic" changes.

"It's probably more of a symbolic event," he said.

Under-resourced Ukrainian forces have been ceding village after village in the east and north to determined Russian attacks, forcing authorities to announce mandatory civilian evacuations.

Messenger/Disha