Zelensky asks the West for air defense systems "to save lives"

2024-03-02 20:36:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Zelensky asks the West for air defense systems "to save lives"

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on the West to send more air defense systems to his country after a wave of Russian missile and drone attacks left at least eight people dead.

Five people died, including a two-year-old child, in the city of Odesa, while other attacks in Kharkiv, Kherson and Zaporizhia killed three more, Ukrainian officials said.

"Russia continues to hit civilians," Zelensky said in a post on social networks.

"We need more air defense from our partners. We need to strengthen Ukrainian air defenses to increase protection for our people from Russian terror. More defense systems and more missiles will save lives," he said.

The war in Ukraine has entered its third year, while US aid worth $60 billion is blocked in Congress by some conservative Republicans. The Ukrainian Air Force said Russia fired 17 Iranian Shahed drones overnight and three missiles.

Ukrainian authorities said they shot down 14 drones, but their remains fell on residential buildings in Odesa and Kharkiv.

Half of all promised Western munitions are expected to arrive in Ukraine later this year, while Ukrainian officials have warned that any delay will cost lives and territory.

Russian military forces advanced last month in the western part, taking control of Avdivka and several villages. The new commander of the Ukrainian army, Oleksandr Syrsky, said on Saturday, after a visit to the front line, that "the situation is difficult, but controllable".

Russia has also expressed anger recently over what appears to be the fallout from a German military discussion on Ukraine, in which officials allegedly discussed missile strikes in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz vowed on Saturday for a full investigation after the head of the state-backed Russian media outlet RT published an audio recording on social media, which could potentially be a major embarrassment for Berlin.


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