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European leaders visit Ukraine in show of support



The leaders of Europe’s three largest economies – French President Macron, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi have each voiced support to Ukraine joining the European Union during a joint visit to Kyiv

The leaders agree the war-torn nation should get “immediate” candidate status, but in reality, this is just the start of a lengthy membership process.

Ukraine’s candidacy will need to be agreed on by all 27 of the EU’s member states, and this could happen during an EU summit on June 23.

A negotiation stage would follow, in which the nation could be asked to implement reforms, such as stamping out corruption.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister says while warm scenes during the visit represent an “historic breakthrough” – she also warns Western countries have shown a “gap between promises and actions” in the past.

Kyiv hopes their visit brings concrete action

All three leaders are seeking to overcome Ukraine’s criticism of their response to its fight against Russia’s invasion.

Irpin was one of the main hotspots of fighting with Russian troops in the north before they pulled back to intensify their offensive in the east.

Ukraine says Russia committed large-scale atrocities here, which Russia denies.

Macron called the town “heroic” and said there were signs war crimes were committed.

The French president has been criticized at home and abroad for not going to Ukraine earlier. He has repeatedly said he would only go if and when the visit could be “useful” and not just symbolic.

The trio arrived together by train in a show of unified solidarity, but it remains to be seen what concrete steps they bring.

“A message of unity we’re sending to the Ukrainians, yes, of support, to speak about today but also the future because we know the weeks to come will be very difficult.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wants his visitors to deliver more arms to help his hard-pressed army withstand the Russian invaders.

“Every day of delay or delayed decisions is an opportunity for the Russian military to kill Ukrainians or destroy our cities. There is a direct correlation: the more powerful weapons we get, the faster we can liberate our people, our land. Ukrainian people are waiting for liberation of our territory, of Ukraine’s territory.”

Kyiv has accused France, Germany and, to a lesser extent, Italy, of foot-dragging: being slow to deliver weapons and putting their own prosperity ahead of Ukraine’s freedom and security.

Ukraine has been particularly critical of Germany’s military aid and wants Scholz to hand over heavy weapons that have been promised but not yet delivered.

Scholz has dismissed allegations he has held back, saying Germany was one of the biggest military and financial backers of Ukraine.

Kyiv officials have also expressed fears of pressure to accept a peace deal favorable to Russia, which calls its invasion a “special military operation”.

The Kremlin said the leaders’ visit shouldn’t only focus on supplying weapons. It’s “absolutely useless,” spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, and will prolong suffering and cause further damage.

The European Union’s executive is expected to propose on Friday (June 17) that Ukraine become a formal candidate for membership, diplomats and officials say.

That would be a significant political gesture to Ukraine, but it’s also something EU leaders are divided on.


William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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Ukraine’s bold counteroffensive dreams shattered: Security official



The ambitious hopes of a Ukrainian counteroffensive have failed to materialize as anticipated, according to a high-ranking security official.

The nation had been eagerly anticipating a resurgence in their military operations to reclaim lost territories, but the recent turn of events has cast a shadow of uncertainty.

The security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that despite meticulous planning and intense preparations, the counteroffensive has encountered unforeseen challenges, pushing back the timeline for its execution.

This setback has left Ukrainian citizens anxious, hoping for a swift resolution to the ongoing conflict that has plagued their country for far too long.

The disappointment in Ukraine’s counteroffensive ambitions raises crucial questions about the nation’s military strategy, the level of external support, and the overall stability of the region.

The international community watches with bated breath as Ukraine navigates this critical juncture, wondering what the future holds for this war-torn nation.

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Zara pulls ad over Gaza boycott uproar



Fashion giant Zara has withdrawn one of its advertisements from the front page of its website after facing calls for a boycott over its alleged insensitivity to the situation in Gaza.

The controversy erupted when Zara featured an ad showcasing its latest collection on its website’s front page, coinciding with a period of heightened tensions in the Gaza Strip. Critics argued that the timing was inappropriate, given the ongoing conflict and suffering in the region.

Social media campaigns and online petitions quickly gained traction, with thousands of people expressing their disapproval and calling for a boycott of Zara products. The hashtag #BoycottZara trended on various platforms, putting immense pressure on the clothing retailer.

In response, Zara issued a statement announcing the removal of the controversial ad. The company expressed regret over any offense caused and reaffirmed its commitment to corporate responsibility.

However, this incident has sparked a broader debate about the intersection of fashion and political sensitivity in an increasingly interconnected world.

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BTS stars take a break to serve military time



The world-renowned South Korean megaband BTS has announced an indefinite hiatus, with all seven members set to fulfil their mandatory military service obligations.

The news has sent shockwaves through the global entertainment industry and left fans wondering what the future holds for the chart-topping group.

This decision comes after the septet’s unprecedented rise to fame, conquering international music charts, and amassing a dedicated fan base known as the ARMY.

The group’s management agency, Big Hit Entertainment, released a statement confirming that the hiatus is aimed at allowing each member to complete their military service without interruption. This move is seen as a testament to their commitment to fulfilling their civic duties despite their immense success.

While BTS fans are undoubtedly disappointed by the hiatus, it raises intriguing questions about the group’s future. Will their time away from the spotlight allow them to explore new musical directions?

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