EUROPEAN Union leaders have agreed to open membership negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, a move celebrated as a step towards victory by Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Ukrainian President has described it as a “victory for Ukraine” and a “victory for all of Europe” as the decision was announced by the president of the European Council, Charles Michel.
Zelensky tweeted: “This is a victory for Ukraine. A victory for all of Europe. A victory that motivates, inspires, and strengthens.”
The announcement came as a surprise to Hungary, however, as the country has been vowing to block such a decision at a two-day meeting in Brussels, Sky News reported.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has since described it as a “bad decision”.
He said on Facebook: “Twenty six member states were adamant that this decision must be made so Hungary decided that if 26 decide so, they should go on their own path.
“Hungary does not wish to participate in this bad decision, and therefore stayed away from the decision today.”
It comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin was humiliated during his first TV call-in show since unleashing war on Ukraine as critical messages appeared on screens telling him to quit.
During the tightly-controlled “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin”, a spectacular blunder allowed texts saying “don’t run” again for president and “make way for the young” to flash up on screen.
In the marathon press conference expected to last hours, the Russian leader for the first time in years is answering questions from citizens and journalists live on air.
However, negative and anti-Putin messages were accidentally splashed across screens all around the despot.
One read: “Mr President, when will the real Russia be the same as the one on TV?” and another asked “Why is your ‘reality’ at odds with our lived reality?”.
“Don’t run for another term as president,” another fumed. “Make way for the young!”
“This question won’t be shown,” added a fourth. “I’d like to know, when will our president pay attention to his own country? We’ve got no education, no healthcare. The abyss lies ahead…”
Putin did not respond to any of the unwanted questions.
Yet, when asked about the war in Ukraine, a triumphant-sounding Putin said there will only be peace when Russia achieves “our goals”.
The ageing ruler, 71, also laid bare chilling plans to brainwash children after securing victory, pledged to press on with his bloody campaign to “de-nazify” Ukraine.
The Russian tyrant is also said to be making a “second calamitous blunder” almost two years after invading Ukraine, the head of Britain’s armed forces warned on Wednesday.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin mocked the Kremlin despot as “no grand master of strategy” as Putin’s main gambits had failed or backfired – his army is stretched and his Black Sea Fleet scattered.
But the tyrant’s biggest mistake was pushing Russia’s economy towards Soviet-style collapse.
“If his first catastrophic mistake was invading Ukraine, he is now making his he is now making his second calamitous blunder,” Admiral Radakin said when delivering the Chief of Defence Staff’s annual lecture in London.
“The Russian economy is being twisted even more out of shape.
“Nearly 40 per cent of all Russian public expenditure is being spent on defence.
“That is more than the aggregate of health and education.
“And the last time we saw these levels was at the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
He added: “This is disastrous for Russia and its people.”