On Tuesday, three European prime ministers travelled to Kyiv by train for the first time since the war began, despite the fact that buildings were blazing and rescue workers were attempting to remove survivors from the ruins of new Russian bombardment.
The fact that international leaders were able to visit Ukraine’s capital was a stunning indication of the country’s achievement in fending off an assault that Western countries believe was aimed at taking Kyiv weeks ago.
“It is our responsibility to be present when history is made. Because it isn’t about us, but about our children’s futures, who deserve to live in a world free of tyranny “Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish Prime Minister, crossed the border with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa.
The goal, according to Fiala, is to “affirm the entire European Union’s unequivocal support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence.”
The visit comes as Ukrainian officials play up the possibility that the war may finish sooner than predicted, claiming that Moscow is now accepting its failure to impose a new administration on Kyiv by force.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday that Kyiv was willing to accept security guarantees that fell short of the country’s long-term goal of joining the NATO alliance, which Moscow opposes.
“If we cannot enter through open doors, then we must cooperate with the associations with which we can, which will help us, protect us… and have separate guarantees,” Zelenskiy said in a video message. “If we cannot enter through open doors, then we must cooperate with the associations with which we can, which will help us, protect us… and have separate guarantees.”
Peace talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations via video link resumed on Tuesday after a hiatus on Monday, marking the first time that a round of talks has lasted more than one day.
It’s too early to forecast progress, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov: “The work is difficult, and in the current environment, the fact that (the negotiations) are continuing is probably encouraging.”
The European leaders will come in a city that is still under siege, with half of the 3.4 million people fleeing and residents sleeping in subway stations at night.
On Tuesday morning, two massive explosions shook Kyiv, and tracer fire lit up the night sky. After being hit by artillery, a high-rise apartment building was engulfed in flames the next morning.
Firefighters attempted to extinguish the blaze, while rescue crews used mobile ladders to assist individuals trapped inside. Russian shelling on the capital in the early hours of the morning killed four people, according to officials.
Igor Krupa, a resident who was sitting on the ground outside, claimed he survived because he slept under a makeshift shelter of furniture and metal weights: “All the windows fell out, and all the debris flowed inside the flat.”
Despite razing certain cities to the ground, Europe’s largest invasion force since WWII was halted at Kyiv’s gates, and Russia failed to seize any of Ukraine’s ten largest cities.
Zelenskiy called on Russian forces to surrender in his most confident public declaration yet.