Ukraine hails gains, Zelenskiy wins arms in Europe

STORY: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy won fresh pledges for new long-range drones when he met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday (May 15).

That's as Ukraine hails its first substantial battlefield advances for six months.

The promise of weapons adds to a haul of Western arms for a counteroffensive against Russian invaders.

Since last week, the Ukrainian military has started to push Russian forces back in and around the small eastern city of Bakhmut –

its first significant offensive operations since its troops recaptured Kherson in the south in November.

The battle for Bakhmut has become the longest and bloodiest of the war and has symbolic significance for Russia.

Over the past half of a year, Kyiv has held its troops on the defensive while Moscow mounted its campaign, sending hundreds of thousands of fresh reservists and mercenaries into Europe's bloodiest ground combat since World War Two.

Kyiv is now preparing a counteroffensive using hundreds of new tanks and armored vehicles sent by Western countries since the start of this year.

Their aim is to recapture the sixth of Ukraine's territory that Moscow claims to have annexed.

Russia said it did not believe the added British hardware would change the course of the conflict.

Zelenskiy's trip to Britain was the latest stop on a tour that saw him visit Rome, Berlin and Paris, pocketing major weapons pledges along the way.