“He must fail” – POLITICO

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during a visit to Ukraine on Friday that Russia’s Vladimir Putin “must fail and Ukraine must win”.

Talk to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour after a visit to Bucha – a town just outside Kyiv where authorities found roads lined with civilians apparently tied up and shot at close range, as well as mass graves of local residents – von der Leyen said: “C is awful. There are almost no words that can explain what I saw. There were still the bodies. Atrocious. Incredible. Shocking. This is the brutal face of Putin’s war.

Von der Leyen said she had discussed with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal “where we can step up, whether it’s sanctions, whether it’s financial support, whether it’s support for refugees and internally displaced people and of course support for weapons…. They will have more weapons.

Von der Leyen’s remarks echoed those of other Western officials this week.

The EU on Friday approved its fifth round of wartime sanctions against Russia, banning coal imports from the country and toughening other sanctions against Russian banks and wealthy individuals. But the bloc stopped short of cutting off Russian oil and gas – a bigger source of revenue for the Kremlin.

NATO allies also said on Thursday they were seeking to send heavier weapons to Ukraine in response to an expected Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine.

Earlier in his visit, von der Leyen said the EU would do everything to help Ukraine take “the necessary steps” to join the EU, Reuters reported.

Von der Leyen was visiting Ukraine with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.


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