‘Turning a blind eye’: Zelenskyy slams allies as Russia intensifies attacks

Ukraine president says country needs air defence systems and not ‘lengthy’ talks as Russia targets energy infrastructure.

Ukraine needs military aid and air defence systems in the face of Russia’s intensifying attacks, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, as he criticised his country’s allies for engaging in “lengthy discussions” and “turning a blind eye”.

The Russian military launched attacks on five regions across Ukraine, killing at least seven people and damaging infrastructure including substations and power generation facilities, Ukrainian officials said on Thursday.

Zelenskyy said Russia fired more than 40 missiles and about 40 attack drones overnight, many targeting energy infrastructure. The attacks show how “critical” air defence has become for Ukraine, he posted on X, adding that the Russian missiles and Iranian-designed one-way drones must not be allowed to hit Ukraine.

In southern Odesa, Governor Oleh Kiper said on his Telegram channel on Wednesday night that Russian missile strikes killed four people, including a 10-year-old girl, and left several others in critical condition.

The region’s air defences shot down seven Iranian-designed attack drones of the Russian military near energy infrastructure, which was not damaged, Kiper said on Thursday morning.

In northeastern Kharkiv, two women and a 14-year-old girl were killed after a missile strike on Wednesday afternoon, Governor Oleg Sinegubov said on Telegram, also posting photos of rescuers clearing up rubble.

He reported multiple other attacks across Kharkiv through Thursday morning, including a drone attack that injured one person, and a missile fired from a Russian S-300 system that targeted “energy infrastructure”.

Kharkiv was targeted with more than 10 missiles, leaving more than 200,000 subscribers without power.

Kharkiv, the capital of the region of the same name, lies just 30km (19 miles) from the border with Russia and has come under frequent bombardment since Moscow launched its invasion in February 2022.

Attacks in the capital Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia and Lviv also targeted infrastructure, but left no casualties, according to local authorities.

Zelenskyy said that “if Russian missiles and ‘Shahed’ drones continue to strike not only Ukraine but also the resolve of our allies, this will amount to a global license for terror”.

The president travelled to Lithuania to participate in a regional security summit on Thursday, saying that “Russian evil is a threat not only to Ukraine, but to every nation bordering Russia and to everyone who values international law”.

On Wednesday, United States President Joe Biden urged the US House of Representatives to vote immediately on a $60bn Ukraine aid bill, which has been stuck in the House after clearing the Senate.

“There’s overwhelming support for Ukraine among the majority of Democrats and Republicans. There should be a vote now,” Biden told reporters.

Meanwhile, the top general for US forces in Europe told Congress on Wednesday that Ukraine will be outgunned 10 to one by Russia within a matter of weeks if Washington does not send more ammunition and weapons soon.

“They are now being outshot by the Russian side five to one. So the Russians fire five times as many artillery shells at the Ukrainians than the Ukrainians are able to fire back. That will immediately go to 10 to one in a matter of weeks,” General Christopher Cavoli said.

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