(Bloomberg) -- President Volodymyr Zelenskiy arrived in France for dinner with President Emmanuel Macron on a European trip to secure further commitments for aid in its war with Russia.
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He had traveled to Berlin on Sunday, where he met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other leaders, a day after a visit to Rome that included an audience with Pope Francis. Germany on Saturday announced it’s preparing a record military aid package worth almost $3 billion. On Sunday, Scholz reiterated a pledge to continue to support the government in Kyiv for as long as needed.
Ukraine fired on targets in the occupied Luhansk region on Friday using Storm Shadow missiles provided by the UK, Russia’s defense ministry said. Russia said Sunday that two of its commanders had been killed in action in the Donetsk region. Ukraine said Sunday it had captured “over 10 enemy positions” in Bakhmut.
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(All times CET)
Zelenskiy to Have Dinner With Macron (8:43 p.m.)
Volodymyr Zelenskiy will have dinner with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Paris late Sunday, the French presidency announced in a statement.
“This evening’s discussion will focus on the support that France continues to provide in response to the urgent needs of Ukraine, on the military and humanitarian levels,” the statement read.
In an interview published in French daily L’Opinion on Sunday, Macron said France would continue to back Ukraine’s military effort. “Russia must not win the military war,” he said.
Zelenskiy Due in Paris Late Sunday, Will Meet With Macron Monday (5 p.m.)
Volodymyr Zelenskiy will travel to Paris late Sunday and is expected to meet on Monday with President Emmanuel Macron. That follows a weekend during which Ukraine’s president met with the leaders of Germany and Italy, as well as with Pope Francis.
Zelenskiy traveled to Aachen, Germany, on Sunday afternoon to accept the Charlemagne Prize for work done in the service of European unification that has been awarded to him and the people of Ukraine.
Ukraine Reports New Progress Near Bakhmut (6 p.m.)
Kyiv’s forces recaptured more than ten Russian positions south and north of Bakhmut on Sunday, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Telegram.
Ukrainian units also secured a large part of forest near Ivanivske, a town on the western outskirts of the city, while taking a number of Russian soldiers prisoner, she said.
“One meter is worth ten kilometers in terms of difficulty of accomplishing tasks,” Maliar said, describing how complicated it is for Ukrainans to advance near the strategic city.
Zelenskiy Greets Exiled Belarusian Leader (5:50 p.m.)
Zelenskiy shook hands with exiled Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya while in Aachen, Germany, for the Charlemagne Prize ceremony. It’s believed to be the first time he met her since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Tsikhanouskaya, last year’s winner, was shown being introduced to Zelenskiy for a handshake by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, while flanked with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko hasn’t been since in public since May 9 amid media speculation about his poor health. He skipped an important annual patriotic ceremony on Sunday.
Russia Says Two Commanders Killed in Ukraine’s East (4 p.m.)
Russia’s defense ministry made a rare admission of combat deaths, saying two of its commanders had been killed in action in eastern Ukraine as battle for control continues around Bakhmut, the Donetsk city that’s been largely laid to waste.
In a daily update of what Russia calls its “special military operation,” the ministry said its 4th Motorized Rifle Brigade had repelled two attacks by Ukrainian forces around Krasnoye, west of Bakhmut, but that its commander, Colonel Vyacheslav Makarov, was injured on the battlefield during the third attack, and died while being evacuated.
His deputy, Colonel Yevgeny Brovko, who was commanding on a different, unspecified part of the front line, was killed after sustaining “multiple shrapnel wounds,” the ministry said.
Scholz Pledges Continued Aid to Ukraine at Berlin Meeting (12:50 p.m.)
Chancellor Olaf Scholz made a personal pledge to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that Germany will continue to support Kyiv with military and other assistance for as long as needed.
Scholz hosted Zelenskiy in Berlin for the first time since Russia’s invasion and said the Ukrainian leader’s visit was “a strong signal.” It came a day after the German government announced its biggest package yet of materiel for Ukraine, worth nearly $3 billion.
Russia Strikes Home City of Ukraine’s Eurovision Finalist (9 a.m.)
Russia struck Ternopil while the band Tvorchi, which hails from the western Ukrainian city, was preparing to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest finals in Liverpool on Saturday night, Andriy Yermak, Zelenskiy’s chief of staff, said on Telegram.
The strike was one of several overnight. Russian troops attacked Ukraine with Shahed drones, as well as fired Kalibr missiles from ships in the Black Sea and cruise missiles from strategic bombers, General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Facebook.
Air defenses downed three missiles and 25 drones, according to the statement. Some missiles and their debris hit the Ternopil region as well as Mykolayiv in the country’s south. At least 30 civilians were wounded in the attacks, according to the General Staff. Russian missiles also hit Kharkiv in the northeast, the region’s governor said.
Zelenskiy Says He Urged Pope ‘to Condemn Russian Crimes’ (6:21 p.m.)
Zelenskiy said on Twitter that he urged Pope Francis, in their private meeting at the Vatican on Saturday, “to condemn Russian crimes in Ukraine. Because there can be no equality between the victim and the aggressor.”
“I also talked about our Peace Formula as the only effective algorithm for achieving a just peace. I proposed joining its implementation,” Zelenskiy said.
A Vatican statement after the meeting didn’t mention peace efforts, noting that the two men had discussed “he “humanitarian and political situation in Ukraine caused by the ongoing war.”
Russia’s Kommersant Says Two Jets, Two Helicopters Crash in Bryansk (5:30 p.m.)
Two Russian military jets — an Su-24 and an Su-35 — and two Mi-8 helicopters likely crashed on Saturday in the Bryansk region not far from Ukraine’s northeast border, with their crews killed, the Kommersant newspaper reported.
Earlier, Russian media reported that one plane and one helicopter had crashed, with the circumstances still under investigation.
In its report, which cited “preliminary data,” Kommersant said the jets had been headed to Ukraine’s Chernihiv region on a bombing mission with the helicopters had trailed them to pick up crew members if they were shot down by enemy fire.
Russia Says Ukraine Used UK Storm Shadow Missiles to Strike Luhansk (3:30 p.m.)
Ukraine’s forces used Storm Shadow missiles provided by the UK to strike occupied Luhansk, Russia’s defense ministry said in an update on what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Russia said the targets included a polymer factory and a meat plant, without offering evidence. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine’s military. Images on social media showed large plumes of smoke rising in the city that’s far behind the front lines in eastern Ukraine.
The UK confirmed this week that it’s donating the weapons to Ukraine, saying the move was a “calibrated and proportionate response to Russia’s escalations.” The missiles have a firing range in excess of 250 kilometers (155 miles). It was unclear when the Storm Shadows would be ready for deployment.
Read more: UK Sends Long-Range Storm Shadow Cruise Missiles to Ukraine
Germany Announces €2.7 Billion Military Aid Package for Ukraine (10 a.m.)
Germany is preparing another military support package for Ukraine worth more than €2.7 billion ($2.9 billion), the country’s defense ministry said, confirming an earlier report from Der Spiegel.
Read more: Germany Announces Record €2.7B in Military Aid for Ukraine
The record large package is intended to continue to support Kyiv in its defense against Russia and will include material from the areas of artillery, air defense, and armored combat vehicles including main battle tanks.
“We are once again showing that Germany is serious about its support,” said German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius. “Germany will provide all the help it can - as long as it takes,” he added.
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