US sees ‘anecdotal reports’ that Russian troops in Ukraine are not obeying orders, says senior defense official

European Council President Charles Michel during his visit to Odessa, Ukraine, on May 9, in this photo released by the European Council press service. (Dario Pignatelli/European Council Press Service/AFP/Getty Images)

During a meeting with Ukraine’s prime minister on Monday, European Council President Charles Michel and other participants ‘had to interrupt the meeting to take cover as missiles hit the Odessa region again’ , a European Union official told CNN.

In a reading of Michel’s visit, the official, who was not in Ukraine, said President Michel and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal were joined by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky via video link from Kyiv, and that their discussions “focused on the best way for the EU to continue to help Ukraine meet the humanitarian, economic and military challenges it currently faces.

Speaking in Odessa, Michel said he wanted to confirm to Zelensky and “all the Ukrainian people that our support will be maximum” and that the EU will “provide as much as possible” in terms of military equipment.

He also said that the EU was coordinating with the international community to “mobilize financial support, expertise, so that you can meet the humanitarian challenges, also be able to manage the country, and you need cash and start rebuilding”. from the country.”

Michel added: “We know that you and the people of Ukraine who are fighting for your homeland, for the future of your children, for your freedoms, but you are also fighting for our common European principles, our values, our democracy and our democratic rights. ”

“And that’s why it’s our moral duty to support you as much as possible,” he said.

In a video statement, Zelensky thanked the President of the European Council for his support and for giving Ukraine “the opportunity to be equal in the family of the European Union”.

“And in this difficult moment – of bombardment and war – your courageous stand and presence in Odessa in person is not only welcome, but arouses great gratitude,” the Ukrainian leader added.

Earlier Monday, Serhiy Bratchuk, the spokesman for the Odessa region’s military administration, said Russian forces fired four Onyx cruise missiles at the area.

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