Kyiv’s international allies offered praise and possibly new promises of military aid.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen hailed Ukraine’s resistance and vowed to stand by its side for as long it takes. The U.S., which has helped rally allies to Kyiv’s cause, could announce a new aid package Wednesday worth as much as $3 billion, two defense officials told NBC News.
In Moscow — as a war the Kremlin hoped would long have been over stretched on — Russia’s defense chief acknowledged that its offensive had slowed, while the arrest of an opposition politician highlighted the domestic crackdown on dissent.
Zelenskyy warned earlier that Russia may unleash “repugnant provocations and brutal strikes” on Wednesday. The United States also said that it had information that “Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days.”
Local authorities — from Kharkiv in the east to Lviv in the west — have warned people to pay more attention to air raid sirens, respect curfews and work from home, if possible.
Some air raid sirens sounded in an otherwise quiet Kyiv early on the dual anniversary, but perhaps the most potent sign of the war in Ukraine’s capital was the procession of burnt-out Russian military vehicles displayed defiantly in the heart of the capital.
Having held onto Kyiv, Zelenskyy renewed his vow to recapture the eastern region of the Donbas, large swaths of which Russia now controls, and Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014. “What is the end of the war for us?? We used to say: peace. Now we say: victory,” Ukraine’s leader said in the address.