Latest Developments in Ukraine: June 8
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The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT.
3:45 a.m.: In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says “whatever the occupiers plan for themselves, we must prepare for the next winter, in our state, on our land, for all citizens.”
2:30 a.m.: Norway has shipped 22 M109 self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine along with spare parts and ammunition. The Norwegian defense ministry said it conducted training sessions in Germany with Ukrainian soldiers on using the weapons.
1:30 a.m.: Britain’s defense ministry said Wednesday morning the previous 24 hours had brought little significant gains for either Russia or Ukraine in the fight for the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk, with Russia attacking from multiple sides but Ukraine’s defenses holding.
12:01 a.m.: The Associated Press is reporting that Angela Merkel defended her approach to Ukraine and Russia during her 16 years as Germany’s leader, saying that a much-criticized 2015 peace deal for eastern Ukraine bought Kyiv precious time. She won’t apologize for her diplomatic efforts, AP reported.
In her first substantial comments since leaving office six months ago, Merkel said there was no excuse for Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine and it was “a big mistake on Russia’s part.”
Merkel, who dealt with Russian President Vladimir Putin throughout her chancellorship, rejected a suggestion that she and others engaged in appeasement that ultimately enabled the invasion.
“It is a matter of great sorrow that it didn’t succeed, but I don’t blame myself now for trying,” Merkel said.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.