Before speaking about the NATO summit, support comments editor Francis Dearnley offers updates from the front lines:
According to the Institute for the Study of Warfare, in five weeks Ukrainian forces have liberated almost the same amount of territory that Russian forces captured in more than six months. But Russian operations also continue. Russia launched an overnight airstrike on kyiv just hours before the NATO summit; Air-raid alerts raged over the capital for an hour or more in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian military has said its air defense systems shot down the Iranian-made Shahid drones before they hit their targets.
Brussels correspondent Joe Barnes, on the ground in Vilnius, describes the atmosphere:
There are a lot of traveling Ukrainian journalists who are a little bummed out that Ukraine doesn’t seem to be close to becoming a NATO member. But it is Lithuania that has put on a real show. It’s positive Ukraine has taped its buses with messages saying, look, while you’re waiting for this bus, Ukraine is waiting for NATO membership. The yellow and blue of the Ukrainian national flag is adorned everywhere on the streets.
Joe also explains how NATO viewed his promise to “extend an invitation” to kyiv when “allies agree and conditions are met”:
It is seen as a springboard to help Ukraine become a country with a NATO-standard army. So when the time is right, when the war is over, NATO allies can feel comfortable letting Ukraine in. Again, it is designed to make sure that President Zelensky comes to Vilnius and does not leave empty-handed. But obviously he doesn’t get to what he’s looking for and that is NATO membership at this stage.
Later, senior foreign correspondent Roland Oliphant explained the logic behind the different countries’ positions:
Americans are nervous about being dragged into an Article Five compromise with Ukraine at any time in the foreseeable future. Do you want to put your boots down and go to war with Russia? No, obviously not. The Ukrainian answer to that is: I had a long talk with Dmitry Kuleba, the foreign minister, a couple of weeks ago, they are not asking to join NATO before the end of this war. But look, the protection of NATO is the only thing that is going to guarantee peace. The only way to deter Russia from starting another war in the future is for us to be in NATO. And the Russians have to understand that we are going to do this because otherwise they are going to cheer up.
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Ukraine: the latestRegular contributors to are:
David is Head of Social Media at the Telegraph where he has worked for almost two years. Previously he worked for the World Economic Forum in Geneva. He speaks French.
Dom is Associate Editor (Advocacy) at the Telegraph having joined in 2018. He previously served for 23 years in the British Army, in tank and helicopter units. He had operational deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.
Francis is assistant comments editor at the Telegraph. Before working as a journalist, he was Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Political Council at the Houses of Parliament in London. He studied history at Cambridge University and in the podcast he explores how the past sheds light on recent diplomatic, political and strategic developments.
They are also regularly joined by Telegraphforeign correspondents from around the world, including joe barnes (Brussels), sofia yan (Porcelain), natalia vasilyeva (Russia), roland oliphant (Senior reporter) and colin freeman (Reporter). In London, venice rainey (Foreign weekend editor), katie o’neill (Assistant Foreign Editor), and true archer (News Reporter) also appear frequently to provide updates.