Ukraine claims new gains, welcomes Western air defence pledge

KYIV: Ukraine on Wednesday said it had regained more territory in the south and welcomed the West’s pledge to deliver air defense systems to Kyiv “as quickly as possible” after days of intense Russian missile attacks.
A group of about 50 US-led countries held talks at NATO headquarters in Brussels and vowed to deliver new anti-missile systems to Kyiv.
Ukraine is reeling from Russian attacks that have left scores dead and wounded as well as villages and towns without electricity and hot water across the country.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said after the meeting: “The systems will be delivered as quickly as possible.
To further show the West’s solidarity, the G7 vowed to “stand with Ukraine for a long time”, while International Monetary Fund Director Kristalina Georgieva pledged financial support for the goal “together. you go in the direction of a strong Ukraine”.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyywho described the Russian missile strikes as an act of terrorism and pressed the West to create an “air shield”, applauding the promised anti-missile systems.
Zelenskyy said in his daily address to the nation: “The more daring and cruel Russia’s terrorism becomes, the more it becomes clear to the world that helping Ukraine protect its skies is one of its humanitarian missions. most important for Europe today”.
As Ukraine faces a barrage of Russian air strikes, Britain on Thursday said it would supply drones and missiles capable of shooting down cruise missiles for the first time.
“AMRAAM missiles … will be made available in the coming weeks for use with the NASAMS air defense systems to which the US has committed,” the British Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
In an interview, French President Emmanuel Macron also promised air defense.
“We will provide … radars, systems and missiles to protect them from these attacks,” Macron said, adding that France was also in talks to send six more Caesar mobile artillery units.
It remains unclear whether the weapons Macron promised were part of a pledge made in Brussels or separately.
Macron also called on the Russian president Vladimir Putin to resume diplomatic negotiations with Kyiv.
“Today, first of all, Vladimir Putin must stop this war, respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine and return to the negotiating table,” Macron told France 2 television.
The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to condemn Russia’s annexation of parts of Ukraine, sending what the US President Joe Biden supposedly a “clear message” that Moscow cannot abolish a sovereign state.
Since Monday, Russia has attacked Ukraine with missiles, damaging energy facilities across the country in attacks that Mr. Putin said were in retaliation for last week’s deadly explosion at a tree bridge in Crimea.
That explosion tore through the road and rail link that Moscow uses to transport its military equipment.
Just after 1 a.m. Thursday (22:00 GMT), the bombing targeted the Black Sea port of Mykolaiv, destroying the top floors of a five-story residential building, according to the mayor.
“The rest is under the rubble. Rescuers are working on the spot,” Oleksandr Senkevych wrote on Telegram.
And in the town of Avdiivka, Russian attacks killed at least eight people at a market, according to the regional head appointed by Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the Russian military said it had resisted Ukrainian attacks in the eastern regions of Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkiv.
But in Putin’s latest setback, Kyiv on Wednesday said it had recaptured five more settlements in the southern Kherson region – one of four territories Moscow said it annexed in September.
For Ukrainians stranded on the front lines, the fear of a ceaseless exchange of flames is now compounded by the prospect of a winter without electricity or water.
“Firewood… how to get it?” Oleksandra Pylypenko from the eastern town of Bakhmut said.
“I don’t know how we’ll survive.”
Several air defense systems to which Western allies are committed began arriving in Ukraine this week.
On the front lines in Donetsk, Western weapons helped raise the morale of the Ukrainians and the capabilities of Kyiv’s forces.
“We definitely need more artillery,” said an officer who gave his name as “Sergiy” of Ukraine’s 5th Regiment on a hill overlooking Russian-held Gorlivka in Donetsk.
“In terms of artillery, they still have an advantage so we can’t return fire equally,” he added.
“Now we are firing more accurately, but with fewer attacks.”
With Russia’s bombing escalating nuclear fears, the head of the United Nations nuclear agency Rafael Grossi has traveled to Kyiv to negotiate the creation of a safe and nuclear protection zone around Ukraine due to Russia holds. Zaporizhzhia plant.


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