Ukraine Expects War Situation To Worsen From May As EU Considers Aid


(RFE/RL) — European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Luxembourg to discuss bolstering the bloc’s support for Kyiv as the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence warned the situation in the war with Russia could worsen amid intensifying air attacks.

EU foreign ministers were scheduled to meet on April 22 to discuss strengthening Ukraine’s air defenses as Russia continues to target Ukraine with drones and missiles.

Russia has stepped up its air attacks on energy infrastructure and other targets, putting pressure on the EU to supply more air defenses to Ukraine.

Kyrylo Budanov, chief of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, told the BBC that his country faced “a rather difficult situation” on the front line against the Russians from mid-May.

“But it is not catastrophic, and we need to understand that,” he added. “Armageddon will not happen, as many people are now saying.”

Budanov’s comments come after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in an interview with U.S. broadcaster NBC on April 21 that Russia wants to occupy Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region before May 9, the day Russia celebrates as Victory Day to mark the defeat of Germany in World War II.

The meeting in Luxembourg comes after the U.S. House of Representatives approved a package worth more than $60 billion in Ukrainian aid that will head to the Senate for discussion this week, clearing the way for President Joe Biden to sign it into law.

Western leaders welcomed the approval of the package, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen saying in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that “Ukraine deserves all the support it can get against Russia.”

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk thanked House Speaker Mike Johnson, while also noting the holdup in Congress. “Better late than too late. And I hope it is not too late for Ukraine.”

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said the complicated logistics of getting U.S. assistance to the front line would mean that “Ukrainian forces may suffer additional setbacks” while waiting for it to arrive.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States, Britain, and France on April 22 of risking a “direct military clash” between nuclear powers by bolstering their support for Ukraine.

Hours before the meeting in Luxembourg, Russia launched seven Shahed-type kamikaze drones at Ukraine, most of which were shot down. Odesa’s regional governor, Oleh Kiper, said drones targeted a farm, where they damaged a warehouse and some machinery.

The Shahed drones are cheap and effective unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) made by Iran. Tehran insists that it is not supplying Russia with drones to use against Ukraine.

Iran used the same drones on April 14 to target Israel in an unprecedented attack that included more than 300 UAVs and missiles.

During their meeting in Luxembourg, EU foreign ministers also agreed to expand the bloc’s sanctions on Iran for its attack on Israel, which Tehran says was retaliation for the bombing of its embassy complex in Syria earlier this month. The attack, which Iran blames on Israel, killed seven military officers, including two generals.

Many EU countries have called for widening the drone-related sanctions regime to cover missiles and transfers to Iranian proxy forces in the Middle East.


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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