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Ukraine: Zelensky complains about Kiev's dwindling missiles

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (C) speaks with France's Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu (R) during the French Support for Ukraine Public Diplomacy Event at the headquarters of Nexter Systems of the Franco-German defense group KNDS, which makes artillery guns used in Ukraine, in Versailles, near Paris, on April 2, 2024.(Photo by AFP)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeated complaints regarding his forces' shortage of munitions to fight against Russian troops, appealing to Kiev's Western allies to rush in more missiles.

Zelensky reiterated on Saturday Ukraine could run out of air defense missiles if Russian forces continued with their special military operation in the neighboring country.

“If they keep hitting every day, the way they have for the last month, we might run out of missiles, and the partners know it,” Zelensky said in an interview that aired on Ukrainian television.

Since Russia launched its special operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Zelensky has been appealing to Kiev's Western allies to provide more arms and ammunition, particularly long-range missiles, fighter jet planes and air defenses.

Zelensky said that Ukraine had enough stockpiles to cope for the moment, but he added that the Kiev leaders already had to make difficult choices about what to protect.

Kiev would agree with any terms and conditions set by the West to receive the military aid it needed, Zelensky said. “We will agree to any options.”

Zelensky, in particular, singled out the urgent need for Patriot air defense systems, and said Ukraine needed 25 of them.

The US-made air defense missiles have been used against Russian attacks with ballistic and hypersonic missiles which can hit targets within a matter of minutes.

Zelensky latest appeal fpr more missiles followed Russian forces strikes on Ukrainian targets. Ukrainian sources said two Russian missile and drone strikes, one in the early hours of Saturday and a second in the afternoon, killed eight people and wounded at least 10 more people in northeastern Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city.

The Ukrainian source added that in the eastern region of Donetsk, artillery fire had killed four people in the village of Kurakhivka, while in Odesa in the south, a missile strike killed one person.

Also, the country's private power company DTEK claimed Russian strikes had hit 80 percent of its generating capacity and the grid was forced to introduce rolling blackouts to stabilize the power distribution lines across Ukraine.

Zelensky said some artillery shells were being supplied to Ukraine under foreign initiatives that he did not mention, noting that the munitions were being used for defensive operations. “We don’t have shells for counteroffensive actions, as for the defense — there are several initiatives, and we’re receiving weapons,” he pointed out.


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