German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made a surprise visit to Kharkiv, a city that is regularly shelled because of its proximity to the Russian border. The minister's visit was not announced. Baerbock was the first high-ranking Western official to travel to eastern Ukraine since the beginning of the war.
After visiting the ruins of destroyed Russian military buildings, she said Kharkiv had become "a symbol of the absolute madness of the Russian aggression and the endless suffering that people, especially here in the east of the country, face every day."
"The border with Russia is only 40 kilometers away. Before the war, there were close ties and border traffic. Today, deep traces of Russian destructive activities can be seen on almost every corner. Almost 500,000 of the 1.5 million Kharkiv residents were forced to flee," said Baerbock.
The German Foreign Minister promised further supplies of weapons to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. She stressed that in all corners of Ukraine, people should know that they can count on solidarity and support, which include not only weapons, but also "generators, transformers, fuel and blankets." That is, what "saves people's lives in this war winter."
Baerbock also said that she came with specific proposals to the Ukrainian government to promote the process of Ukraine's accession to the European Union.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who accompanied Baerbock on the trip noted that "Kharkiv has become a symbol of Ukraine's successful counter-offensives."
"Kharkiv is now a symbol of successful Ukrainian counteroffensives which prove Ukraine will win with sufficient support of partners. I have no doubts further German military aid will come.," Kuleba wrote on Twitter.