kyiv, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has released a list of weapons needed to repel Russian forces invading the country.
“To continue to heroically defend the world against Russian aggression, Ukraine needs a specific list of weapons,” he posted on Telegram. “I call on citizens around the world to help convey to your governments, presidential administrations and leaders of your countries the real needs of Ukraine, which will help stop the war.”
He also posted a video on Twitter.
Zelenksyy said the necessary weapons are: artillery pieces (155 mm caliber) and ammunition; artillery shells (caliber 152 mm). As much as possible; several rocket launch systems: “Grad”, “Uragan” or American M142 HIMARS; APC (armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, etc.); tanks (T-72, American or German analogues); air defense systems (S-300, BUK or similar modern Western air defense systems) and combat aircraft.
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“We call on the whole world to unite and help us fight this cruel aggression,” he continued.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 with the aim, according to Western officials, of taking the capital, Kyiv, overthrowing the government and installing one favorable to Moscow. But the ground advance slowly stalled and Russia lost potentially thousands of fighters in seven weeks of war. The conflict has killed countless Ukrainian civilians and forced millions more to flee. The fighting has also shaken the global economy, threatened global food supplies and shattered the balance of post-Cold War Europe.
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Meanwhile, a day after calling Russia’s actions in Ukraine “genocide”, President Joe Biden approved $800 million in new military aid to Ukraine, saying western weapons have supported Ukraine’s fight so far and “we can’t rest now”. Weapons include artillery systems, armored personnel carriers and helicopters.
Following these setbacks, Russian troops are now preparing for a major offensive in the eastern region of Donbass, where Moscow-allied separatists and Ukrainian forces have been fighting since 2014, and where Russia has recognized the separatists’ demands for independence. . Military strategists say Moscow believes local support, logistics and terrain in the region favor its larger and better-armed military, potentially allowing Russia to turn the tide in its favor.
A key part of the Russian campaign is Mariupol, which is in the Donbass and which the Russians have beaten since almost the start of the war. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak tweeted that the city’s defenders were running out of supplies but were “fighting under bombs for every meter of the city”.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.