French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to augment military assistance to strengthen Ukrainian armed forces as Russian attacks intensify.

The announcement comes close after attacks by Russia across Ukrainian cities that reportedly claimed several lives and destroyed key infrastructure.

During an ‘urgent call’ with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Macron reiterated France’s support to the war-hit nation.  

In this regard, Macron will stay in close contact with Zelenskiy, and European and G7 members.

In a Twitter post, Zelenskiy said: “Had an urgent call with @EmmanuelMacron. We discussed the strengthening of our air defence, the need for a tough European and international reaction, as well as increased pressure on the Russian Federation. France stands with Ukraine.”

Macron recently announced plans to deliver six truck-mounted howitzers to Ukraine, in addition to the 18 sent earlier.

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The French Government also plans to establish a special fund worth €100m to enable Ukraine to procure necessary equipment directly from French companies.

Condemning the latest Russian attacks, US President Joe Biden has announced the decision to arm Ukrainian forces with modern air systems. 

In a call between Zelenskyy and the US President, he said: “President Biden pledged to continue providing Ukraine with the support needed to defend itself, including advanced air defence systems.

“He also underscored his ongoing engagement with allies and partners to continue imposing costs on Russia, holding Russia accountable for its war crimes and atrocities, and providing Ukraine with security, economic, and humanitarian assistance.”

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US has committed nearly $16.8bn in security assistance to Kyiv.