Zelenskiy urges NATO to shoot down Russian missiles over Ukraine

  • 22 May, 10:17

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has asked NATO allies to shoot down incoming Russian missiles over his country’s territory if they are not ready to provide Kyiv with more air defence systems.

“You can’t provide that right now? Ok…returning to the planes that you have on the territory of neighbouring Nato countries: raise them up ... shoot down targets, protect civilians,” Zelenskiy said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.

He also asked for more air defence systems to counter Russian attacks. Stressing that Russians are using 300 planes on the territory of Ukraine, Zelenskiy said his country needs at least 120, 130 planes to fight in the sky.

He made the plea as Russia is striking Ukraine with missiles and glide bombs.

This was the first instance of Ukraine asking for direct Western intervention in its war against Russian invasion. Furthermore, Zelenskiy complained that Western military aid was too slow to be delivered. “Every decision that we, and then everyone together, comes to is delayed by about a year”, Zelenskiy stressed.

“Currently the situation at the front is one of the most difficult because a new Russian offensive has begun in the direction of Kharkiv. A very powerful wave of fighting is going on in Donbas,” he said.

Commenting on the northern Kharkiv region where Russians opened a new front over a week ago, Zelenskiy said: “Today the situation is under control. A week ago it was more difficult.”

Elsewhere during the interview Zelenskiy said Kyiv was “negotiating with Western partners on use of their weapons against buildups of Russian equipment on the border and even on their territory. So far there is nothing positive.”

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who was visiting Kyiv on Tuesday, renewed her calls to Western allies to send more air defence systems to Ukraine in yet another display of support for Ukraine by Germany. 

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