Ukraine: Army spokesman confirms Makiivka strike
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On Wednesday, the French President announced to President Zelensky that Ukraine would be receiving further military aid from France. In the telephone conversation, Macron said Ukraine would receive a delivery of a number of AMX-10 RCs, which is a combat vehicle on wheels like a small tank fitted with a cannon.
A French official said: “This is the first time that western-made armoured vehicles are being delivered in support of the Ukrainian army.”
According to the Defence Ministry in France, the delivery will be made swiftly following talks between France and the Ukrainian military.
Though France has already supplied Ukraine with the highly acclaimed Caesar howitzers and air-defence equipment, Macron’s latest move shows a sudden change in course for the French President.
Last month, he was criticised for continuing to hold back on providing Ukraine with military aid and for comments which showed he was continuing to consider Russia’s interests.
European nations lodged complaints about the comments which Macron made in an interview with French TV station TF1 on December 3.
The French President said that Europe should begin to think “how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table” amid talks about Europe’s future security structures.
Ukraine and the Baltic states immediately criticised the comments with a number of other European states accusing France of failing to present the united front of NATO members against Russia.
Despite criticising the comments, President Zelensky has kept the dialogue open between the two nations and thanked Macron for the new delivery.
Macron and Zelensky have “agreed on further co-operation to significantly strengthen our air defence and other defence capabilities”, the Ukrainian President stated in a social media post.
It is Macron’s hope that his changed position will finally see him win the favour of the allied nations following criticism from both the United States and Russia as he attempted to be a go-between for the two sides.
Former deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Rogozin, sent Macron a piece of shrapnel from a Caesar howitzer which was removed from his back after shells hit his birthday party in a Russian-occupied area of Ukraine.
Mr Rogozin demanded that the French Ambassador pass on the piece of shrapnel which was “just a millimetre away from killing me” to Macron.
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He added: “Tell him that no one will escape punishment for war crimes of France, the US, the UK, Germany and other NATO nations in the Donbas.”
The change in tune from the French President was initially seen during his New Year television address in which he encouraged Ukraine’s victory over Russia for the first time.
He said: “Your fight to defend your nation is heroic and inspiring. Over the coming year, we will be by your side without fail.
“We will help you to victory…You can count on France and on the European Union.”
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