April 19. 2024. 9:39

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Croatia offers to treat wounded Ukrainian soldiers

Croatia plans to take in wounded Ukrainian soldiers, Veteran Affairs Minister Tomo Medved said on Friday during a visit to Kyiv.

Medved came to Ukraine with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on a surprise visit to attend the anniversary ceremony marking the liberation of the Ukrainian town of Bucha northwest of Kyiv.

In the early stages of the Russian invasion last year, Bucha was seized by Russian forces and occupied for about a month. Following the Russian retreat in late March, Ukrainian forces discovered evidence of numerous atrocities committed against civilians at Bucha.

The ceremony led by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was also attended by Slovenia’s Prime Minister, Robert Golob, Moldovan President, Maia Sandu, and Slovakian Prime Minister, Eduard Heger.

After meeting with Ukrainian officials, Medved told Croatian reporters that Croatia offered to take in Ukrainian soldiers for treatment and rehabilitation. Croatia currently operates two dedicated rehabilitation centres for war veterans from its 1991-95 war of independence, with plans to open two more.

“We expect Ukraine to prepare the first batch of 20 wounded fighters to be sent to Croatian hospitals for treatment. And after their recovery they will be included in a rehabilitation programme at our veteran centres,” said Medved.

Along with Golob, Sandu, and Heger, Plenkovic attended a summit dedicated to the atrocities at Bucha, the site where Ukrainian authorities say some 1,400 people were killed during the Russian occupation – including 37 children.

“The crimes at Bucha have shown the true face of Russian aggression,” Plenkovic said, adding that “Ukrainian leadership, Ukrainian people, soldiers, and policemen, have demonstrated to the entire world what it means to fight for freedom, what it means to be a patriot.”

“Our support for Ukraine will continue – whether it’s political, financial, humanitarian, or military,” he added.

Earlier last week, Croatian Defence Minister Mario Banozic visited the southern port city of Odesa where he met with his counterpart Oleksii Reznikov and announced a donation of 14 Soviet-made Mi-8 transport helicopters to the Ukrainian armed forces.

(David Spaic-Kovacic | EURACTIV.hr)