Zelensky meets Greta Thunberg to address the war’s effect on ecology

30 June 2023, 11:54 | Updated: 17 November 2023, 11:26

Greta Thunberg
Russia Ukraine War. Picture: PA

The meeting in the Ukrainian capital came as fighting continued around the country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has met with Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg and prominent European figures who are forming a working group to address ecological damage from the 16-month-old Russian invasion.

The meeting in the Ukrainian capital on Thursday came as fighting continued around the country.

The governor of the Kherson region, Oleksandr Prokudin, said two people were killed in the region’s capital in a Russian strike that hit residences, a medical facility and a school where residents were lined up to receive humanitarian aid.

Another person was killed in a morning strike on the village of Bilzoerka, the regional prosecutor’s office said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, third from left, poses for a photograph with Greta Thunberg, third right, vice president of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala, centre, ex-deputy prime Mminister and ex-minister of foreign affairs of Sweden Margot Wallstrom, second from left, president of Ireland from 1990-1997 Mary Robinson, fourth from left, and Ukrainian officials during their meting in Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, third from left, poses for a photograph with Greta Thunberg, third right, vice president of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala, centre, ex-deputy prime Mminister and ex-minister of foreign affairs of Sweden Margot Wallstrom, second from left, president of Ireland from 1990-1997 Mary Robinson, fourth from left, and Ukrainian officials during their meting in Kyiv (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/AP)

The presidential office said on Thursday morning that at least eight civilians have died in Russian attacks in the past 24 hours.

Mr Zelensky also met former US vice president Mike Pence, who visited Kyiv.

Mr Pence, an advocate of US support to Ukraine, is running for the 2024 Republican nomination for president.

“We appreciate that both major US parties, the Republican and Democratic, remain united in their support for Ukraine. And, of course, we feel the strong support of the people of the United States,” Mr Zelensky told Mr Pence, according to the presidential website.

The working group on the environment includes Miss Thunberg, Sweden’s former deputy prime minister Margot Wallstrom, European Parliament vice president Heidi Hautala and former Irish president Mary Robinson.

Greta Thunberg stands prior of a press conference of the newly created working group
Miss Thunberg stands prior of a press conference of the newly created working group (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

Mr Zelensky said forming the group is “a very important signal of supporting Ukraine. It’s really important, we need your professional help”.

Miss Thunberg said Russian forces “are deliberately targeting the environment and people’s livelihoods and homes. And therefore also destroying lives. Because this is after all a matter of people”.

The objectives of the working group are evaluating the environmental damage resulting from the war, formulating mechanisms to hold Russia accountable and undertaking efforts to restore Ukraine’s ecology.

In Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill met with Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, the Vatican envoy for seeking peace between Russia and Ukraine.

Mr Kirill, a supporter of the war, said: “It is very important that the Christian communities of East and West take part in the process of reconciliation,” according to video circulated by the Russian church.

By Press Association

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