After securing pledges for dozens of modern battle tanks from Western allies, Kyiv is making renewed pleas for Western jets and long-range missile systems, among other weapons, with President Volodymyr Zelensky stressing in his nightly video address on Sunday the urgency of that plea.
Pointing out the very tough situation of constant attacks by Russian forces in the eastern Donetsk region, especially in the sectors of Bakhmut and Vuhledar, Zelensky said that Ukraine needs new weapons and faster deliveries to confront that situation.
Ukraine’s president underscored that there are constant attempts to break through Ukrainian defenses as Moscow seeks to drag the war on and exhaust Kyiv forces, noting the need of speeding up events and supplies and open up new weapons options for Ukraine.
Earlier on Sunday, Russia’s Wagner private military group said it took control of the village of Blahodatne, in the eastern part of the Donetsk region, while the General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces claimed that its troops repelled the attack near.
A later military statement, however, made no mention of Blahodatne.
According to Ukrainian officials, at least three people were wounded on Sunday as a Soviet-era S-300 long-range missile hit a residential building in the urban district of Kyivskyi in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, causing a fire in the building and heavy damage.
The northeastern city’s mayor, Ihor Terekhov, said on Telegram Sunday that all emergency services are on-site and rescue operations were ongoing.
At the same time, the Ukrainian soldiers seemed unperturbed on Sunday as the Russian armed forces declared that they had launched a new offensive in the Zaporizhzhia region, saying that despite the increased activity in these past couple of weeks with shelling from artillery and even from tanks, Russian troops don’t send infantry over the line because they’re scared.
Zelensky’s latest appeal for increased weapons shipments comes in light of Germany and the US – along with several other countries- agreeing to supply Kyiv with modern tanks.
According to Vadym Omelchenko, Kyiv’s ambassador to France, Western countries will deliver more than 300 tanks to Ukraine without specifying which countries would provide the tanks or providing a breakdown of which models.
Previously this week, Washington pledged to provide 31 M1 Abrams tanks while Berlin agreed to send 14 Leopard 2 A6s on top of the 14 Challenger 2 tanks that the United Kingdom has previously pledged while Poland has asked for Germany’s approval to transfer to Ukraine some of its own German-made Leopard 2s.
Despite Zelensky’s demands, which Washington has so far declined to supply Kyiv with the US-made ATACMS missile with a range of about 300 km Ukraine’s president argues they need.