“He must fail” – POLITICO

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on a visit to Ukraine on Friday that Russia’s Vladimir Putin “must fail and Ukraine must win”.

Speak with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour after a visit to Bucha – a city outside of Kyiv where authorities operated discovered Streets lined with civilians who appear to have been tied up and shot at point-blank range, as well as mass graves of local residents – von der Leyen said: “It’s horrible. There are almost no words that can explain what I saw. Then there were the bodies. Awful. Unbelievable. Shocking. This is the brutal face of Putin’s war.”

Von der Leyen said she spoke to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal about “where we can step up, be it sanctions, be it financial support, be it support for the refugees and internally displaced persons and of course support… Weapons. … They will get more guns.”

Von der Leyen’s comments echoed those of other Western officials this week.

The EU on Friday approved its fifth round of wartime sanctions against Russia, banning imports of the country’s coal and increasing other penalties for Russian banks and wealthy individuals. But the bloc came close to cutting off Russian oil and gas — a major source of revenue for the Kremlin.

NATO allies also said Thursday they plan to send heavier weapons to Ukraine in response to an expected Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine.

At the start of her visit, von der Leyen said the EU would do everything possible to support Ukraine in taking “the necessary steps” to become a member of the EU. Reuters reported.

Von der Leyen visited Ukraine together with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

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