Anthony Albanian visits war-torn cities in Ukraine

The airport in the city of Hostomel was one of Russia’s main targets in the early stages of its invasion, as taking it would have allowed for effective air raids on Kiev.

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Nearby Irpin, with a population of about 70,000, and Bucha, a town of 37,000 northwest of the capital, were chosen by Russia as ideal targets to surround the capital and to be used as a Russian military staging area.

Ukrainian forces liberated both cities in April, after which photo and video footage of the massacre of massacres by Russian forces emerged.

Photos showed corpses of civilians lined up with their hands tied behind their backs, shot at close range, ostensibly providing evidence that summary executions had taken place.

Kuleba said he was grateful to the Australian delegation for its personal visit to the Kiev region.

“The war in Ukraine, at the center of Europe, must remain on the global agenda,” he said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanian during a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.Credit:AP

Albanian is expected to hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who personally invited him for a visit last month in a letter congratulating the prime minister on his election victory.

Australia is Ukraine’s largest non-NATO supporter in military hardware and aid, with $285 million in arms and $65 million in humanitarian aid so far.

Albanian acknowledged the decisions taken by Morrison’s government to contribute to that figure in Paris on Thursday.

“I think this is something Australians can be proud of,” he said. “We understand that defending Ukraine is about defending the rules-based international order and the implications for its disruption would impact the entire world.”

The United Nations estimates that 12 million people in Ukraine are in need of emergency assistance and protection, while more than 4.2 million Ukrainian refugees may need protection and assistance in neighboring countries in the coming months. Most refugees from Ukraine are women, girls and boys.

European leaders have recently stepped up their visits to Kiev using a special train service that takes them to the capital from Poland.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited twice, while French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrived in Kiev last week with a “message of European unity” for the country.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was in Kiev last month for talks with Zelensky, two months after her previous visit.

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On Monday morning, Russia claimed it had control of Lysychansk, the last major city in the eastern Luhansk province, held by Ukraine.

If confirmed, it would bring Moscow’s troops one step closer to conquering the entire Donbas region – one of Putin’s main goals.

However, a Ukrainian military spokesman denied that the city was completely under Russian control, telling the BBC: “Sometimes we can withdraw from certain areas so that we can recapture them in the future.”

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