Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky paid a visit to frontline troops on Friday, December 6th as he prepares for his first direct talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin on the conflict in eastern Ukraine that erupted five years ago.
The two leaders are due to meet in Paris on Monday, December 9th for the summit, with the attendance of the French and German leaders as mediators, in a bid to revive efforts to bring Europe's only active war to an end, AFP reported.
Prior to the talks, Zelensky headed to the town of Chasiv Yar, close to the frontline, to pin medals on service members.
"Believe me, it's a lot easier to hold talks feeling your strength and your support behind me," he told the troops.
The summit is seen as a promising sign after high-level talks have stalled for the last three years, although no breakthrough is expected, according to Channel News Asia.
Since erupting in 2014, the conflict between Kiev and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 13,000 people and forced more than a million to flee their homes, inflicting great harm to the country’s economy.