G7 ends with Ukraine in focus as Zelenskyy meets world leaders

taiwannews.com.tw -- May 21

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy huddled with some of his biggest backers as the Group of Seven summit closed in Hiroshima on Sunday, building momentum for his country's war effort even as Russia claimed a symbolic victory on the battlefield.

The Ukrainian leader's in-person appearance in his trademark olive drab underscored the centrality of the war for the G7 bloc of rich democracies. It also stole much of the limelight from other priorities, including security challenges in Asia and outreach to the developing world, that the leaders focused on at the three-day gathering.

“G7 reaffirmed our commitment to continue our strong backing for Ukraine from every possible dimension,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.

Zelenskyy held two major rounds of meetings Sunday, one with G7 leaders and a second with them and a host of invited guests including India and South Korea. He also held one-on-one talks with several of the leaders.

Hanging over Sunday's talks was the Russian claim that forces of the Wagner private army, backed by Russian troops, had seized the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. The eight-month battle for the eastern city — seen by both sides as a major symbolic prize — has been the longest and likely bloodiest of the war.

Asked if Bakhmut was still in Ukraine’s hands, Zelenskyy said he thought that Russian forces had finally taken the city. ...continue reading