Ukrainians honoured their dead and vowed to keep fighting, on Friday, as Russia told the world to accept “the realities” of its war.
Moscow faces new Western sanctions on the one-year invasion’s anniversary.
At a ceremony in Kyiv’s St Sophia Square, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy bestowed medals on soldiers and the mother of one killed, fighting back tears during the national anthem.
“We have become one family …
“Ukrainians have sheltered Ukrainians, opened their homes and hearts to those who were forced to flee the war.
Zelenskiy reiterated calls for more Western weaponry.
He attended online summit with U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders of Group of Seven (G7) wealthy democracies.
The G7 countries have pledged to intensify their support.
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“A dictator bent on rebuilding an empire will never erase the people’s love of liberty,” Biden said on Twitter.
“Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia; never.”
Washington announced a new $2 billion package of military aid for Ukraine and a raft of additional sanctions and tariffs hitting Russia’s mining and metals industries.
It also pledged more sanctions on companies from third countries accused of supplying Moscow with restricted goods.
However, Biden reiterated in an interview that he had no plans to send to Ukraine, the F-16 fighter jets, which Zelenskiy has been seeking for months.
“The U.S. does not currently see a rationale for sending the advanced aircraft.
“I am ruling it out for now,” Biden said.
G7 members, Canada and Britain unveiled similar measures, as did the 27-nation European Union, after some hectic last-minute negotiations.
At the same time, Ukraine said Russia had doubled number of ships on active duty in Black Sea on Friday.
It also predicted Russia could be preparing for more missile strikes.
In Russia, publicly criticising the war is punishable by long prison terms.
A human rights group said dozens of people were detained by the Police for commemorating victims of invasion with flowers.
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Tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers on both sides are believed to have died since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion, saying it was necessary to protect Russia’s security.
Ukraine sees it as a bid to subjugate an independent state.
Its outnumbered and outgunned forces repelled Russia’s attempt to seize Kyiv early in the war and later recaptured swathes of occupied territory.
But Moscow still occupies almost one-fifth of Ukraine, which it claims to have annexed.
Russia’s foreign ministry said the world should recognise “new territorial realities” in Ukraine to achieve peace.
Russian troops have destroyed Ukrainian cities, set a third of the population to flight, and left behind streets littered with corpses in towns they occupied and lost.
Moscow denies war crimes.
In recent weeks, Russian forces, replenished with hundreds of thousands of conscripts, have waged intense trench warfare, making only small gains despite fighting both sides call the bloodiest so far.
In reports from battlefield, Russia’s Wagner private army, run by Putin’s ally, claimed to have captured another village near Bakhmut.
Bakhmut is a small eastern mining city that is the focus of Moscow’s offensive.
Costly Russian assaults have yielded little in the way of advances elsewhere.
Ukraine, for its part, is awaiting new Western weapons before starting a counter-attack.
Despite West’s support for Ukraine, big developing nations, like China and India, kept clear of imposing sanctions on Moscow.
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