Von der Leyen visits Kyiv as Russia marks war anniversary

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen approach media before their press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 9, 2023. [Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo]

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hailed Ukraine as "the beating heart of today's European values" in a deeply symbolic visit to Kyiv on Tuesday as Russia marked its World War Two Victory Day.

Von der Leyen's trip underlined the European Union's support for Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin presided over a military parade on Moscow's Red Square and portrayed his own country as under attack by the West as war rages in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he and von der Leyen had discussed defence matters, sanctions on Russia and Ukraine's integration with Europe at talks in Kyiv.

"Our efforts for a united Europe, for security and peace, need to be as strong as Russia's desire to destroy our security, our freedom, our Europe," he told a joint news conference.

He also highlighted Russia's military failures in...

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