Ukraine will be accepted as a candidate for membership in the European Union on Thursday, a move that will boost morale in the country as the battle with Russian troops for two cities in the east reaches a ‘dreadful climax,’ according to one official.
Although the approval of the Kyiv government’s application by EU leaders meeting in Brussels is only the beginning of a years-long process, it represents a significant geopolitical shift that will irritate Russia as it attempts to impose its will on Ukraine.
On Friday, it will be four months since Russian President Vladimir Putin dispatched troops across the border in what he calls a ‘special military operation,’ which was prompted in part by Western encroachment on what Russia considers its sphere of influence.
The conflict, which the West regards as an unjustified war of aggression by Russia, has killed thousands, displaced millions, and destroyed cities, as well as having global ramifications as food and energy exports have been curtailed.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged his country’s allies to expedite heavy weapon shipments in order to match Russia on the battlefield.
‘We must free our land and win, but we must do so much faster,’ Zelenskiy said in a video address on Thursday.
Moscow’s massive air and artillery attacks, he claims, are aimed at destroying the entire Donbas region.