Ukraine updates: Zelenskyy in Brussels for talks with EU leaders

Ukraine’s president will meet with European leaders as he continues rallying support amid Russia’s invasion. Meanwhile, Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group says its no longer recruiting from prisons. DW has more.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be in Brussels on Thursday for talks with European leaders, which German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has described as a “signal of European solidarity and community.”

Coupled with EU talks, Zelenskyy is expected to make an address before the European Parliament.

Zelenskyy is visiting European countries as he continues efforts to strengthen support as the Russian invasion approaches one year since it began.

Ukraine’s leader is looking for more advanced weaponry, particularly aircraft, as fierce fighting continues to rage in the eastern parts of Ukraine.

On Wednesday Zelenskyy met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak followed by meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and Scholz.

“France and Germany have the potential to be game changers and that’s how I see our talks today,” Zelenskyy said. “The sooner we get heavy long range weapons and our pilots get modern planes … the quicker this Russian aggression will end.”

The visit comes as Sunak announced that Britain would train Ukrainian pilots on “NATO-standard fighter jets.” Ukraine has urged its allies to send jets.

Here are some of the other notable developments concerning the war in Ukraine on Wednesday, February 8.

Wagner Group to stop recruiting prisoners

Russia’ mercenary Wagner Group said that it would no longer recruit prisoners to fight in Ukraine.

“The recruitment of prisoners by the Wagner private military company has completely stopped,” the group’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said in comments published on social media.

“We are fulfilling all our obligations to those who work for us now,” he said.

In video which circulated online from September 2022, Prigozhin was seen addressing a crowd of convicts, promising that if they served in Ukraine for six months, their sentences would be commuted.

Its unclear just how many prisoners were recruited, however Reuters news agency has in the past cited the US intelligence community in reports that the group had as many as 40,000 prisoners deployed in Ukraine.

More on the war in Ukraine on

Read more about the German defense minister’s surprise trip to Kyiv here.

And find out more about the investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 back in 2014 and the role investigators believe Russian President Vladimir Putin played.

kb/es (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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