By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Ukraine has urged Germany, Europe’s largest economy, to send more weapons despite concerns by critics that it will further escalate the war against Russia in the country. The call came while fighting intensified as the Russian invasion of Ukraine entered its seventh month.
Ukraine also asked the European Union to impose more sanctions against Russia, despite fears that Moscow will react with even less crucial energy deliveries to Europe.
With the war in Ukraine now stretching into its seventh month, Ukraine seeks to exploit Russian weaknesses in the south.
But at the same time, Moscow is suggesting that it will reinforce troops in the east to renew its stalled campaign after losing thousands of soldiers in Europe’s most significant conflict since World War Two.
The Ukrainian and Russian military moves have made more victims. For instance, on Saturday, a 9-year-old boy was killed, and at least ten people were seriously injured when Russian rockets hit a residential area in the southern Ukrainian town of Zelenodolsk.
It comes as fighting over the neighboring Russian-controlled Kherson region intensified with Ukrainian forces trying to recapture the southern area.
Additionally, a United Nations nuclear watchdog team says shelling threatens the safe operation of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
The plant in Zaporizhzhia lost the connection with its last remaining main external power line after clashes on Friday evening, reported the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has a team in the area.
The IAEA said the fighting forced engineers to rely on a lower-voltage reserve line to power the cooling equipment needed to prevent meltdowns.
Yet there were no signs that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would end soon, with both sides unwilling to give in. Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal brought his nation’s plea for more weapons to Germany on Sunday, saying his country needed additional help in its battle against Russia.
Shmyhal is the first high-level Ukrainian official to visit Germany in months, as tensions eased between Kyiv and Berlin after a rocky patch.
The first stop on his trip was a meeting with president Frank-Walter Steinmeier who Kyiv had criticized over his perceived cozy relationship with Russia, something he said was a mistake following the outbreak of war.
Shmyhal was also to meet chancellor Olaf Scholz who had already pledged more military support for Ukraine after initial reluctance due to Germany’s role in World War Two.
However, supporting Ukraine comes at a price, with Russia already cutting off or sharply reducing natural gas and oil deliveries to Germany and other European Union nations.
That has led to souring energy prices and concerns that much of Europe will face a harsh cold winter though the EU claims it will prevail.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia is using “poverty and political chaos” to attack the lives of all Europeans.
In his evening address late to his nation on Saturday, president Zelensky said that by stopping the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Russia wanted to “destroy the normal life of every European.”
However, he separately urged the EU’s executive European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen to step up sanctions, including stopping issuing European visas to all Russian citizens.
The ongoing fighting came as the last leader of the Russia-led Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, was laid to rest.
In the last months of his life, he had expressed deep concern about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who stayed away from Saturday’s funeral in Moscow, has described the collapse of the Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 21st century.”