All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met on Wednesday with the European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell in Kyiv.
The Presidential Office reported in a statement that the two discussed, among other things, Ukraine’s most recent draft law which aims to increase mobilisation.
They also discussed military aid and financial support for Ukraine.
Borell pledged the EU will provide Ukraine with over a million artillery shells by the end of the year. Financial and military aid are vital to Kyiv, whose armed forced are said to be running out of ammunition.
US to draft fresh bill focusing on foreign aid
Concerns of faltering support are focused on the US.
Republican senators, due to pressure from Donald Trump, have blocked sweeping legislation that would bring in tougher border restrictions and grant new aid to Ukraine and Israel.
The bill included €55.6 billion in wartime aid to Ukraine and €12.9 billion for Israel and was backed by President Joe Biden. GOP lawmakers had insisted that the money for conflicts abroad be paired with help for the US border.
Senators are now trying to fashion a new version of a bill that will pass, which has stripped out all the border security measures, leaving the foreign aid parts.
Colombian fighters in Ukraine
After two years of war, Ukraine’s ranks are depleted.
Now, professional soldiers from Colombia bolster the ranks of volunteers from around the world who have answered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s call for foreign fighters to join his nation’s war with Russia.
With a military of 250,000, Colombia has Latin America’s second-largest army, after Brazil’s. More than 10,000 retire each year. And hundreds are heading to fight in Ukraine, where many make four times as much as experienced non-commissioned officers earn in Colombia, or even more.
Now locked in a battlefield stalemate with Russia, Ukraine is expanding its system allowing people from around the world to join the Ukrainian army, said Oleksandr Shahuri, an officer of the Department of Coordination of Foreigners in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
In early 2022, authorities said 20,000 people from 52 countries were in Ukraine. Now, in keeping with the secrecy surrounding any military numbers, authorities will not say how many are on the battlefield but they do say fighters’ profile has changed.
Shahuri explained that while the first waves of volunteers came mostly from post-Soviet or English-speaking countries, the military has now developed an infrastructure of Spanish-speaking recruiters, instructors and junior operational officers.
Hector Bernal, a retired ex-combat medic who runs a centre for tactical medicine outside Bogotá, says that in the last eight months he’s trained more than 20 Colombians who went on to fight in Ukraine.