Leaders in Europe have reaffirmed support for the people of Ukraine and for their president.
They visited Volodymyr Zelenskyy for a summit on Friday in Kyiv.
They once again encouraged him to join the European Union, even if full membership is still a long way off.
Zelenskyy helped Ukraine gain formal candidate status in June. He urged the leaders to make progress and help to speed up the bid.
He said, "Our goal this year is to start negotiations on joining EU."
But the EU leaders say they have not set any "rigid timelines". European Council President Charles Michel said, "Ukraine has made considerable efforts and progress, especially on judicial reform and fighting corruption. We encourage Ukraine to continue to strengthen the rule of law." Still, they promised that their future lies together and pledged another round of sanctions against Russia.
The package will be completed by February 24, the first anniversary of the invasion.
It would cost Russia 10 billion euros.
Ukrainian leaders believe Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his troops to take all the eastern region of Donbas by March.
But analysts at the Institute for the Study of War say Putin may have overestimated his army's capabilities.
They say they have seen no evidence that his forces have been able to restore the combat power they have lost since the invasion began.
The New York Times reports that the number of Russian troops killed and wounded is approaching 200,000.
It quotes US and other Western officials as saying leaders in Moscow are sending poorly trained recruits to the frontliners.
VOL. 16, No. 15, March.24, 2023 (Chaitra 10. 2079) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75
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