Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made a fervent plea for a “full protective shield” of air defense systems to be provided to his country amid ongoing attacks from Russian missiles. Zelensky described the situation as “Russian missile terror” and called on Western allies to support Ukraine with more anti-aircraft systems to safeguard the entire nation.
In a tweet, President Zelensky stated, “Ukraine needs a full-fledged sky shield – this is the only way to defeat Russian missile terror.” He also expressed gratitude for the help of partners and the air defense systems already provided, which have saved countless lives. However, he emphasized the need for additional systems to cover the entirety of Ukraine’s territory, including all cities and communities, in order to counter Russian attacks effectively.
The call for increased protection comes after another round of missile strikes on the city of Odesa, further escalating tensions in the region. Ukraine’s counter-offensive against the well-entrenched Russian military has faced challenges, as the latter maintains air superiority over much of the frontline, making it difficult for the Ukrainian armed forces to make substantial progress.
Although the Biden administration approved the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, the delivery is pending, and the pilots still require training to operate the warplanes, which is a time-consuming process. The U.S. has provided two full Patriot anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine, and five more are expected to be sent by Raytheon by the end of the next year.
Regarding the recent attacks on Odesa, Ukraine claimed that the historic Transfiguration Orthodox Christian cathedral was severely damaged. However, Russia denied targeting the church and suggested that the damage might have been caused by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft defensive missile. Despite this, President Zelensky vowed retaliation for the cathedral’s destruction and condemned the attacks on peaceful cities and residential areas.
As the conflict continues, President Zelensky remains determined to restore peace and defeat the “Russian evil” through international support and concerted efforts to protect Ukraine from further missile attacks. The situation remains tense, and the international community is closely monitoring developments in the region.