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NATO chief visits Kyiv for 1st time since Russian invasion, pays tribute to fallen Ukrainian soldiers

Russia-Ukraine war: According to media reports, Stoltenberg also paid respect to those who sacrificed their lives protecting their nation against Russian invaders. Further, he also reviewed Russian military artefacts on display in a well-known Kyiv square.

Anurag Roushan Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Kyiv Published on: April 20, 2023 16:54 IST
NATO chief Stoltenberg visits Kyiv for 1st time since the
Image Source : TWITTER NATO chief Stoltenberg visits Kyiv for 1st time since the Russian invasion, pays tribute to fallen Ukrainian soldiers

Russia-Ukraine war: As the situation continues to remain fragile in Eastern Europe amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg paid a surprise visit to Kyiv on Thursday.

According to media reports, Stoltenberg also paid respect to those who sacrificed their lives protecting their nation against Russian invaders. Further, he also reviewed Russian military artefacts on display in a well-known Kyiv square.

The visit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation supremo comes as Ukrainian forces ready for their spring counteroffensive after Russia's attempts to advance during the winter, particularly in the area around Bakhmut town, proved unsuccessful. The 31-member NATO has vowed to assist Ukraine in defending itself from Russian aggression.

Stoltenberg invites Zelenskyy to attend NATO summit

Meanwhile, Stoltenberg also urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to attend a NATO summit in July. With Moscow claiming it had seized four regions of Ukraine, Kyiv began a request to join NATO military alliance. 

NATO, formed to counter the Soviet Union, has long feared being dragged into a wide war with nuclear-armed Russia, but as the West has moved from hesitantly providing helmets and uniforms to tanks, warplanes and advanced missile systems, high-level visits have become routine.

Stoltenberg had been to Kyiv before the war, but this is his first visit during the hostilities. NATO leaders said in 2008 that Ukraine would join the alliance one day, and Stoltenberg has repeated that promise throughout the course of the war.

ALSO READ: 'Biggest risk if Putin wins Russia-Ukraine war': NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg at Munich Conference

Russia launches series of attacks in Ukraine

During the last 24 hours, Russia launched a series of attacks against targets in Ukraine, including 26 unmanned Shahed-136 drones, of which Ukrainian air defences shot down 21, Ukraine's general staff said on Thursday.

According to Ukrainian forces, some of the Russian airstrikes succeeded in hitting their civilian and military targets. There were also reported casualties among civilians. Moreover, Ukraine claimed to have successfully repelled 55 ground assaults in the Donetsk region, including those near the hotly disputed town of Bakhmut.

It should be mentioned here that the 31-member alliance has focused on bolstering defences on its own territory to dissuade Putin from attacking any member country. Under NATO’s collective security guarantee, an attack on one member country is considered to be an attack on them all.

(With inputs from agencies) 

 

 

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