Ukraine live briefing: France to train and equip several Ukrainian battalions with armored vehicles and light tanks

BERLIN — Following his visit to Germany, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a surprise stop in Paris, where he and French President Emmanuel Macron had dinner Sunday night.

The two leaders later announced that France plans to train and equip several Ukrainian battalions with “tens” of armored vehicles and light tanks in coming weeks. A joint declaration from the countries said France “remains unwavering in its commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.”

The visit to France came after a news conference earlier Sunday with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, during which Zelensky described a new German defense package as “a very strong pillar of support” and thanked Germany “for every life in Ukraine you saved.” Germany’s initial reluctance to provide Ukraine with its Leopard 2 battle tanks prompted backlash from other Western allies. But on Saturday, the government announced a fresh $2.95 billion in military aid for Kyiv. The latest package is likely to include 30 Leopard 2 tanks, at least 100 other armored vehicles, 200 reconnaissance drones and ammunition, according to a top Ukrainian official.

Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

Zelensky, in private, plots bold attacks inside Russia, leak shows: Ukraine’s president has cultivated a stoic, statesmanlike image in public, garnering praise from the country’s Western allies. But in private, John Hudson and Isabelle Khurshudyan report, he has shown an inclination for far more aggressive tactics, such as attacks inside Russian territory, according to previously undisclosed classified U.S. military documents.

The internal communications involving Zelensky and his top aides and military leaders suggest discussions about occupying villages in Russia for leverage against Moscow and bombing a pipeline transferring Russian oil to Hungary, a NATO member.

Masih reported from Seoul, Timsit from London, Sands from Marseille, France, and Javaid from Washington. Karla Adam contributed to this report from Liverpool, England.

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