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Russia Ukraine conflict

French president Macron praises Ukrainian ‘heroism’ during Kyiv visit

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French President Emmanuel Macron praised Ukrainian “heroism” in the face of Russia’s invasion on a visit Thursday to the Kyiv suburb of Irpin, the closest Moscow’s army got to the capital at the start of its invasion.

“It’s here, among other places, that the Ukrainians stopped the Russian army descending onto Kyiv,” the French leader said. “It represents the heroism of the army, but also of the Ukrainian population. And alongside that, you have traces of barbarism.”

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In response to a question on his previous remarks that Russia must not be humiliated, Macron said “France has been alongside Ukraine since day one.”

“We stand with the Ukrainians without ambiguity. Ukraine must resist and win,” he told journalists.

Macron made the trip with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to the battle-scarred Kyiv suburb of in a joint visit to show support for Ukraine.

“From the start, France and Europe have stood alongside Ukraine and its population by providing military aid and equipment, defensive and then offensive,” Macron said.

He pointed specifically to the French-made self-propelled howitzers, which have recently entered the battlefield.

Macron also said Europe had begun funding efforts for the reconstruction of “devastated” Ukrainian towns and cities.

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