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Biden makes the case for democracy after meeting with Zelensky | CNN

Biden makes the case for democracy after meeting with Zelensky | CNN
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Biden reaffirms US support for Ukraine in critical meeting with Zelensky

04:26 – Source: CNN

  • President Joe Biden apologized Friday to Volodymyr Zelensky for aid delays from the US, telling the Ukrainian leader: “We’re not going to walk away from you.”
  • Biden also delivered a speech in Normandy about democracy, suggesting that D-Day veterans would want the US to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine today.
  • Western leaders vouched their support for Zelensky, who compared his country’s fight against Russia with Allied forces’ resistance to Nazi Germany in World War II.
  • As Moscow’s forces sweep through the northeastern Kharkiv region — with Kyiv’s troops firing back into Russia using Western weapons — Ukraine has documented its highest monthly number of civilian casualties in nearly a year.

Our live coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war has concluded for today.

President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed recent claims by Russian President Vladimir Putin that he is no longer Ukraine’s legitimate president in a joint news conference with France’s President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Friday.

If martial law had not been imposed, the next presidential election in Ukraine would have been held in March of 2024 and Zelensky’s first term would have ended in May. Putin’s comments dismissed Ukraine’s Martial Law Act introduced after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022 which remains in place and which explicitly bans elections during wartime. 

Zelensky also commented on the upcoming Summit on Peace in Ukraine scheduled for June 15-16 in Switzerland. He called on the world’s leaders to participate in person and show that they “are not afraid” of Russia.

France will begin training Ukrainian pilots and mechanics on the Mirage 2000-5 fighter jet “in the coming days,” French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday.

Macron would not give additional details on the number and source of the jets that France plans to send to Ukraine as part of a coalition of partners “out of a concern for efficiency,” he said. The training will take place in France, according to Macron.

Pressed for details on whether France will deploy military instructors to Ukraine, he said there were still “no taboos” about doing so. 

“Who would we be to cede to the threats of Russia that will de facto decide that Ukraine has no sovereignty to invite companies or instructors (onto its territory)?” Macron said. 

However, he added that France would send about 20 technical experts from different ministries to Ukraine to help Kyiv’s integration with European Union standards. 

Separately, French-German defense firm KNDS signed two contracts Friday with the Ukrainian government to launch the production of spare parts for French-made CAESAR howitzers and 155mm artillery shells in Ukraine. 

US President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the Pointe du Hoc monument in Normandy, France, on Friday.

US President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the Pointe du Hoc monument in Normandy, France, on Friday.

Evan Vucci/AP

US President Joe Biden made a sweeping pledge for democracy on Friday, against the backdrop of Ukraine’s grinding fight in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

His speech came as Western leaders commemorated the largest operation by Allied forces against Nazi Germany during World War II, drawing parallels between the actions of veterans and Kyiv’s forces on the ground today.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Biden invokes American democracy: Biden spoke about democracy in a symbolic address marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France. “American democracy asks the hardest of things: to believe that we are part of something bigger than ourselves,” he said, adding that US World War II veterans would want their country to oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Zelensky makes plea to Europe: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, also in France, warned of the return of fascism in Europe, telling lawmakers, “Unfortunately, we live in a time when Europe is no longer a continent of peace.” Earlier, Biden apologized to his Ukrainian counterpart for aid delays from Washington.
  • High civilian deaths in Ukraine: A UN body recorded the highest monthly number of civilian casualties in almost one year in Ukraine, attributing the 31% rise to Russia’s use of “air-dropped bombs and missiles” in Kharkiv. Such attacks “highlight the stark vulnerability of civilians engaged in everyday activities,” a press release said.
  • “Unprecedented scale of destruction”: Civilians in the war-ravaged country face rolling emergency blackouts amid a historic low energy capability, caused by Russian strikes on critical systems. The CEO of Ukrenergo said the power grid operator is “dealing with an absolutely unprecedented scale of destruction.” The United Nations recorded 24 Russian attacks on energy facilities in May.
  • Putin lauds Russian troops: Even though Russia has “many more” nuclear bombs than the US and Europe, Putin claimed, discussions about a possible nuclear war are not necessary, he said at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum on Friday. He added that Moscow’s forces are “increasing their effectiveness,” with the country’s defense industry increasing shell production by 20%. In referring to peace talks, Putin also said that Russia “must seek conditions that would correspond to our interests and would be reliable,” but he did not elaborate on what the conditions would be and accused the West of being deceptive in its approach to talks.
Participants stand next to a giant screen broadcasting Russian President Vladimir Putin's address during the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Friday.

Participants stand next to a giant screen broadcasting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address during the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Friday.

Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

Russia is not currently supplying weapons to other countries as a retaliatory move to Western weapon deliveries to Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday. But he didn’t rule out sending weapons in the future.

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin further justified this stance, questioning, “If they (Western countries) deliver them to a combat zone and call for the use of these weapons, why don’t we have the right to do the same, to respond in a mirror way?”

“I’m also not ready to say that we will do this tomorrow, because any such delivery is associated with a number of circumstances that in one way or another affect certain regions of the world and we must, of course, think about it,” he added.

This statement follows Putin’s earlier warning to Western countries, highlighting the risks of supplying weapons to Ukraine and suggesting such actions could provoke Russia to arm its adversaries.

Ukrainian authorities implemented several measures to reduce electricity consumption, as the country grapples with historic low energy capacity caused by Russian strikes on critical infrastructure.

Limited use of electric trains and air conditioning: Across the country, government and regional administrative offices will halt their use of air conditioning and outdoor lighting at buildings and surrounding areas, according to Shmyhal.

Law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and other government agencies are also encouraged to take similar steps. Local authorities will limit street lighting at night. 

The Ukrainian national railway company Ukrzaliznytsia announced on Thursday it is temporarily changing the schedule of suburban electric trains to save power. Some trains will stop running while others will run less frequently. 

By the numbers: Nearly half of Ukraine’s available energy capacity has been damaged or destroyed as a result of Russian attacks, according to the CEO of Ukraine’s power grid operator, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi. The United Nations recorded 24 attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities in May, it said Friday. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “all armed conflicts end with certain peace agreements” while speaking at a panel during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. 

The Russian president added that Russia “must seek conditions that would correspond to our interests and would be reliable,” but he did not elaborate on what said condition would be. 

However, he went on to accuse the West of being deceptive in its approach to talks, saying, “they deceive you at every step; they say one thing, do another.”

Putin added that “either on the basis of military defeat, or on the basis of victory, we certainly strive and will achieve victory.” 

For context: An international peace summit on Ukraine is scheduled to be held in Switzerland next weekend. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia — with China’s help — last week of attempting to pressure countries not to join the upcoming summit.

Reuters reported in late May that Moscow was willing to consider peace talks that would freeze the current Russian occupation of about a fifth of Ukraine. Putin responded to that report by suggesting Russia was willing to talk peace, based on earlier agreements. He hinted at an aborted deal in Istanbul, just after the war began in 2022, which fell apart, mostly because Moscow’s forces were still rampaging across Ukrainian territory and massacres around Kyiv had come to light. CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh outlines two reasons why Putin may be talking about peace again.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Friday.

Anton Vaganov/Pool via Reuters

Even though Russia has “many more” nuclear bombs than the US and Europe, discussions about a possible nuclear war are not necessary, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday. 

“There is no need to think about it [nuclear war]. And I would ask anyone to not mention anything like that,” he said at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. 

Putin added that Russian forces are “increasing their effectiveness,” about 27 months into Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s defense industry has increased shell production by 20%, and its forces are “surpassing the capabilities of our enemies” when it comes to aircraft and tanks, he said.

Veiled threats: Putin has repeatedly made remarks on the possibility of using nuclear weapons. On Friday, the Russian leader said his country has nuclear weapons that are more powerful than the bombs the Americans dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, “but it won’t come to this.” Russia’s total nuclear stockpile is larger than the United States’, at around 6,250 total nuclear warheads, according to the Arms Control Association. The US has more than 5,500.

Legacy of nuclear war: Washington unleashed atomic bombs on both Japanese cities in August 1945, leaving years of destruction and psychological trauma on communities there.

At least 70,000 people were killed in the initial blast in Hiroshima, while approximately 70,000 more died from radiation exposure. The US dropped another bomb on Nagasaki three days later killing up to 80,000 people.

The US remains the only country to ever use an atomic bomb in war.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the World War II Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument following the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Cricqueville-en-Bessin, Normandy, France, on June 7.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the World War II Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument following the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Cricqueville-en-Bessin, Normandy, France, on June 7.

Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

During a speech commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France, US President Joe Biden honored and thanked veterans for their service, while stressing the importance of democracy and issuing a warning against a rising tide of isolationism.

Here are highlights from his speech:

  • He described the importance of the site at Pointe du Hoc, where some of the most heroic actions of D-Day took place on June 6, 1944, as Army Rangers scaled 100-foot cliffs to attack Nazi positions.
  • Biden suggested that American World War II veterans would want their country to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression today, just as they opposed Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s aggression.
  • He honored and thanked veterans in attendance, while detailing the actions and comments from some of the Rangers.
  • Biden also stressed the hardships of supporting democracy, saying “American democracy asks the hardest of things: to believe that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.”

Private First Class John Wardell, born July 1925, came ashore in Normandy on June 16, 1944, shortly after the D-Day invasion. He was just 18.

Wardell served with rangers in the Battle of Brest and was wounded in Germany during the latter stages of the war, the White House said.

In his speech at Pointe du Hoc, US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Wardell, from New Jersey, who was sat in the audience next to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In his closing remarks, US President Joe Biden described his country as “the fortunate heirs of the legacy” of the veterans who scaled the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc on D-Day, and vowed to continue their mission.

The line was an indirect shot at Biden’s political rival, former President Donald Trump, whose signature slogan — “Make America Great Again” — and campaign speeches often imply that the country’s best days are behind it and carry the vision of a dark future.

Biden said the veterans are “not asking us to give or risk our lives, but they’re asking us to stay true to what America stands for.”

US President Joe Biden delivers a speech next to a monument atop a WWII-era German bunker on Pointe du Hoc clifftop in Cricqueville-en-Bessin, France, on June 7.

US President Joe Biden delivers a speech next to a monument atop a WWII-era German bunker on Pointe du Hoc clifftop in Cricqueville-en-Bessin, France, on June 7.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden issued a sharp warning against a rising tide of isolationism in the US, during his speech at Pointe du Hoc.

But, pointing to the example of D-Day veterans in the audience, he warned against this instinct.

“They believed America was the beacon of the world. I’m certain they believed that it would be that way forever,” he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the World War II Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument following the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Cricqueville-en-Bessin, Normandy, France, on June 7.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the World War II Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument following the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Cricqueville-en-Bessin, Normandy, France, on June 7.

Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

US President Joe Biden suggested that American WW2 veterans would want their country to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression today, just as they opposed Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s aggression.

When the Allied forces arrived on the Normandy beaches on D-Day, Biden said a “feared dictator” who had “conquered a continent had finally met his match.”

“Because of them, the war turned. They stood against Hitler’s aggression. Does anyone doubt – does anyone doubt, that they would want America to stand up against Putin’s aggression here in Europe today?” he said.

He asked if anyone thought those Rangers would want America to “go it alone” today.

“They fought to vanquish a hateful ideology in the ’30s and ‘40s. Does anyone believe they wouldn’t move heaven and earth to vanquish the hateful ideologies of today?” Biden said.

Throughout the D-Day commemoration events, Biden, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other world leaders have drawn parallels between the fight against fascism in the 1930s and the fight against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine today.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the World War II Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument following the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Cricqueville-en-Bessin, Normandy, France, on June 7.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the World War II Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument following the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Cricqueville-en-Bessin, Normandy, France, on June 7.

Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

US President Joe Biden began his speech by painting a picture in remembrance of the attack of Pointe du Hoc after taking in the site on the 80-year D-Day anniversary in Normandy.

The site of the speech is the scene of one of the most heroic actions on June 6, 1944, as Army Rangers scaled 100-foot cliffs to attack Nazi positions.

The White House released excerpts ahead of US President Joe Biden’s expected speech in Normandy, where he is expected to speak on democracy as he marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day at Pointe du Hoc.

“I’ve long said that history has shown that ordinary Americans can do the most extraordinary things. And there’s no better example of that in the entire world than right here at Pointe du Hoc,” an excerpt reads.

The excerpts show Biden will use the iconic Pointe-du-Hoc site to call on Americans to protect US democracy.

Employees of the State Emergency Service carry out the body of an unidentified person from the remains of the contruction hypermarket

Employees of the State Emergency Service carry out the body of an unidentified person from the remains of the contruction hypermarket “Epicentr” in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on May 26.

Kostiantyn Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images

Ukraine has documented its highest monthly number of civilian casualties in almost one year, amid Russia’s sweeping offensive on the northeastern region of Kharkiv.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) recorded a “significant increase” — at least 31% — in the number of civilians killed in Ukraine in May, compared to April, according to a press release. 

Kharkiv offensive: More than half of deaths in May took place in Kharkiv city and the wider region, said the head of HRMMU, Danielle Bell, where Russian forces launched a renewed ground attack on May 10.

Bell attributed the increase of casualties to Russia’s use of “air-dropped bombs and missiles” in populated areas near the frontline and Kharkiv city.

The scale and force of Russia’s assault on Kharkiv prompted the US to allow Kyiv to strike from Kharkiv across the border into Russia, using allied-made weapons.

Recent attacks: In the update, the UN monitoring mission highlighted some recent attacks on the Kharkiv area; an attack on a printing house in Kharkiv city on May 21 which killed at least civilians; and a strike on a large home improvement center in Kharkiv city on May 25 that killed 19 civilians. 

US President Joe Biden is scheduled to arrive at Pointe du Hoc, in Normandy in minutes, as Western leaders mark the anniversary of the largest Allied forces’ operation against Nazi Germany in World War II.

“He’ll talk about the stakes of that moment – an existential fight between dictatorship and freedom,” national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, told reporters. The speech will attest to the urgency of democracy, invoking the symbolism of the location.

Biden will echo one of his predecessors, Ronald Reagan, who in 1984 traveled to a clifftop 100 feet high known as Pointe du Hoc, which was scaled in a daring raid by US Army Rangers on D-Day. Despite heavy losses, the Rangers seized German artillery pieces that could have caused even greater carnage of the Omaha and Utah invasion beaches.

Reagan stood in front of a stone memorial shaped into the Rangers’ emblem, with his back to the Channel, surrounded by surviving veterans of the raid, and gave one of the greatest presidential speeches. “These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war,” Reagan said. He later confessed to his diary that he was so moved it was tough to get the words out.

CNN’s Betsy Klein and Kevin Liptak contributed reporting to this post.

US President Joe Biden, right, meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris, France, on June 7.

US President Joe Biden, right, meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris, France, on June 7.

Evan Vucci/AP

US President Joe Biden has apologized to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky for the delay earlier this year in passing a new military aid package, which was held up by Republican opposition in Congress.

Biden made the apology while announcing a new aid package for Ukraine in a bilateral meeting with Zelensky on Friday.

“You know, you haven’t bowed down, you haven’t yielded at all, you continue to fight in a way that is just remarkable, is just remarkable—and we’re not going to walk away from you,” Biden told the Ukrainian president.

Biden took the opportunity to tout Friday’s funding announcement, as well as the additional funding surged to Ukraine since he signed the supplemental in April.

“Since then, including today, I’ve announced six packages of significant funding—today I’m also signing an additional package for $225 million to help you reconstruct the electric grid,” he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses lawmakers of France's National Assembly in Paris, France, on June 7.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses lawmakers of France’s National Assembly in Paris, France, on June 7.

Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned of the return of fascism in Europe, 80 years after D-Day, the Allied invasion of France which laid the foundations for the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Zelensky had joined other world leaders and veterans in marking the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, northwest France, on Thursday, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with National Chair, Royal British Legion, Jason Coward after laying wreath during  the 80th anniversary of D-Day, held at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, on June 6.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with National Chair, Royal British Legion, Jason Coward after laying wreath during the 80th anniversary of D-Day, held at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, on June 6.

Jane Barlow/PA

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has apologized for leaving the 80th anniversary commemorations of D-Day early in order to film a TV interview, a decision that prompted incredulity and further derailed his floundering general election campaign.

Sunak attended the first part of the commemorative events in Normandy, France, on Thursday, but skipped the international ceremony at Omaha Beach, which was attended by other world leaders and veterans of the Allied operation in 1944.

The UK was represented at the international ceremony by David Cameron, Sunak’s foreign secretary and a former prime minister, who took photographs alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden.

Also in attendance was Labour leader Keir Starmer, who was filmed speaking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the event. Labour was quick to condemn Sunak’s decision to skip the events, and the gaffe dominated British news coverage of the election on Friday.

A car driving on a dark street during a partial electricity blackout in Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 5.

A car driving on a dark street during a partial electricity blackout in Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 5.

Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images

Large swaths of Ukraine are facing rolling and emergency blackouts as the country grapples with historic low energy capacity due to Russian strikes targeting critical infrastructure.

Nearly half of Ukraine’s available capacity has been damaged or destroyed, according to Ukrainian power grid operator Ukrenergo CEO Volodymyr Kudrytskyi.

The destruction means Ukraine is facing a historic low energy generation capacity, he said, and announced electricity consumption limits in all regions of Ukraine.

Ukraine has imported energy from neighboring Poland, Romania and Moldova. It has also received emergency assistance from Poland, but Kudrytskyi warned these measures are insufficient.

The United Nations has recorded 24 attacks on energy facilities during the month of May, it said Friday. 

Ukrainian energy authorities have now been forced to carry out blackouts “compounding the difficulties faced by millions of Ukrainians who have now lived through almost 28 months of war,” the UN said. 

CNN’s Niamh Kennedy contributed reporting to this post.  

This post has been updated with the UN’s statement.

US soldiers attend a ceremony at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France, on June 4.

US soldiers attend a ceremony at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France, on June 4.

Jeremias Gonzalez/AP

US President Joe Biden is set to present a case for democracy Friday against the backdrop of a key turning point for allied forces in World War II – setting up a dramatic moment with war once more on Europe’s doorstep and teeing up a domestic contrast with his political rival.

Biden will travel to Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France, on Friday – a site separating the Omaha and Utah beaches where American Army Rangers scaled steep cliffs to secure positions against the Germans – for a speech on the power of democracy invoking the symbolism of the location.

The speech will stand out as a call to modern-day action against an isolationist streak seeping into American politics and a rise of authoritarianism around the world.

Eighty years after the allied landings, the president will draw a “throughline” from World War II to today in his remarks, national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters. But the subtext of the speech is also likely to be aimed at former President Donald Trump.

Read more here.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses lawmakers at France's National Assembly in Paris, France, on June 7.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses lawmakers at France’s National Assembly in Paris, France, on June 7.

Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky drew parallels between World War II and his country’s battle against Russia in an address to French lawmakers in Paris Friday.  

His speech was greeted rapturously by the French National Assembly, with lawmakers giving him a standing ovation. In the opening months of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Zelensky addressed the French National Assembly by video.

On Thursday, Macron announced that Paris and Kyiv will sign an agreement for France to provide Ukraine with Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets.

France's Air Force Mirage 2000-5 fighter takes off during the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission in Amari military air base, Estonia, on May 25, 2018.

France’s Air Force Mirage 2000-5 fighter takes off during the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission in Amari military air base, Estonia, on May 25, 2018.

Ints Kalnins/Reuters

Following Thursday’s D-Day commemorations, French President Emmanuel Macron said France will begin supplying Ukraine with Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets.

The delivery program will begin following the signing of an agreement with Ukraine’s president on Friday in Paris, Macron said in an interview with French broadcaster TF1.

The Mirage 2000-5 fighter jet is a multirole jet that been in service for some 25 years, with air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities. The Mirage jet has been successfully exported by France to several countries and broadly offers a similar capacity to the American-made F-16 jet.

Macron said that he proposed to begin training pilots on the aircraft from this summer, with training taking around 6 months. France is already providing basic flight training to Ukrainian pilots as part of the F-16 supply program.

The French leader said that he hoped to build a similar coalition of countries that could provide Ukraine with their own Mirage jets. Both Greece and the UAE have Mirage 2000-5 jets in their air forces.

Russia attacked Ukraine’s critical infrastructure overnight into Friday, targeting at least nine regions including the capital Kyiv, Ukrainian authorities said. 

Ukraine’s air defenses shot down 48 out of 53 attack drones launched by Russia and all five cruise missiles launched, Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk said on Telegram. 

They were shot down in the Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kirovohrad, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Odesa, Kharkiv, Kyiv and Khmelnytskyi regions, he said.

At least one person died and four injured in Russian attacks on Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region; four others were injured in the Kherson region and six others in Dnipropetrovsk, local officials said.

In Kyiv region, a fire broke out at an industrial facility, but there were no casualties and responders are working to try to extinguish the fire, the head of Kyiv region military administration said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gives a speech on the stand at the French National Assembly in Paris, France on June 7.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gives a speech on the stand at the French National Assembly in Paris, France on June 7.

Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky are in France as part of the commemorations for the 80th anniversary of D-Day

Biden and Zelensky were among a throng of Western leaders and veterans who attended the commemorations in Normandy on Thursday, but Russian President Vladimir Putin was not invited.

Instead, Putin will on Friday speak at the plenary session of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, discussing the state of the Russian economy after 27 months of Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Zelensky will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and address the National Assembly in Paris, as he seeks to shore up support for his country in its attempts to repel Russia’s invasion.

The war may have entered a new phase this month, after Western countries – including the United States – gave Ukraine permission to use Western weapons to strike inside Russian territory.

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