It feels like 1939 again in Europe, says Poland’s Donald Tusk

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Europe is in a “pre-war era” reminiscent of 1939 and nobody will feel safe if Ukraine is defeated by Russia, Donald Tusk has warned

“For the first time since 1945, war in Europe is becoming ‘real’ again,” he said.

Mr Tusk, a former president of the European Council and recently elected prime minister of Poland, said Vladimir Putin was escalating his war on Ukraine, attacking Kyiv with hypersonic missiles in daylight for the first time earlier this week.

Full coverage: Ukraine-Russia war – live

“We have not experienced a situation like this since 1945,” he said in a series of interviews with newspapers including La Reppublica and Welt am Sonntag, in which he directly appealed to Europe’s leaders to do more to bolster its defences.

“We are in a pre-war era. And if Ukraine is defeated by Russia, nobody in Europe will be able to feel safe.”

His remarks came as Russia launched a barrage of almost 100 drone and missile attacks across Ukraine.

A Ukrainian serviceman from anti-drone mobile air defence unit fires a machine gun


Air raid warnings rang out across the nation, with 10 regions coming under fire, Ukraine’s interior minister, Ihor Klymenko, said.

Russia has escalated its attacks on Ukraine in recent days, launching several missile barrages on the capital, Kyiv, and hitting energy infrastructure across the country in apparent retaliation for recent Ukrainian aerial attacks on the Russian border region of Belgorod. Such sporadic attacks, however, have been common throughout the war.

Large-scale blackouts have already affected Ukraine’s eastern city of Kharkiv, where 700,000 people lost power after the city’s thermal power plant was hit in a drone and missile attack on 22 March.

Last winter, Russia targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, causing frequent blackouts. Many in Ukraine and the West expected that Russia might repeat that strategy this winter, but Russia instead initially focused its strikes on Ukraine’s defence industries.

Ukrainian army chaplains attend a service during their graduation ceremony at St Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv on Friday


Meanwhile, Italy’s air force said on Friday it intercepted unidentified aircraft flying over international waters in the Baltic Sea, which two defence sources in Rome identified as Russian planes.

The two interceptions were carried out on Thursday and Friday morning by Italian Eurofighter jets from the Polish base of Malbork as part of a Nato mission, a statement said.

After completing their activity, the Italian jets returned to the Polish base. The two defence sources said the Russian aircraft were spotted by radar but did not respond to radio signals or requests to communicate.

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