Ukraine’s president Zelenskyy has successfully halted Russia’s advancements, but is in need of additional air defense systems.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that his country’s military has proven that they can halt Russia’s military. However, the Kyiv government is in urgent need of air defense systems from Western allies in order to intercept the growing number of Russian drones and missiles being launched at them.
During his two-day visit to the Baltic states, Zelenskyy met with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda in Vilnius as his first stop.
Zelenskyy later stated, “We have demonstrated that it is possible to stop Russia and deter their actions.”
However, he stated, “Our need for modern air defense systems is dire in order to combat the recent surge of Russian airstrikes – over 500 drones and missiles have been targeting Ukraine from December 29 to January 2.”
Zelenskyy admitted that there is a shortage of reserves in nations that could offer aid to Ukraine.
“The warehouses are currently vacant,” he stated. “There are numerous obstacles facing global defense.”
Ukraine plans to develop its defense sector.
As the two-year anniversary of the war approaches, Ukraine aims to increase the growth of its national defense sector and collaborate with other countries to produce a greater supply of arms and munitions.
Officials from Ukraine who were accompanying Zelenskyy signed multiple documents with Lithuania to collaborate on producing weapons together. It is anticipated that additional agreements of this nature will be made during Zelenskyy’s meetings with officials from Latvia and Estonia on Thursday.
Nauseda informed the press that we are aware of the exhaustion caused by the ongoing war and our main goal is for Ukraine to achieve a swift and total victory.
The smaller countries in Eastern Europe are strong allies of Ukraine in terms of politics, finances, and military support. However, there is concern among some in the Baltic region that they could potentially become the next target of Moscow.
Josef Stalin took control of three countries during World War II, but they regained their independence in 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved. These countries later joined NATO in 2004, aligning themselves with the United States and its Western allies for military protection.
According to a statement from Estonian President Alar Karis, democratic nations have made significant efforts to support Ukraine, but there is a need for further collaboration to ensure Ukraine’s victory and the defeat of the aggressor.
He expressed the belief that this could potentially be the final military attack in Europe, where one country attempts to control their neighboring country through the use of missiles, drones, and cannons to influence political decisions.
Western aid slows
The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has resulted in a decrease in Western military assistance to Ukraine. In the United States, President Joe Biden’s appeal for additional aid to Ukraine is currently at a standstill in Congress. Similarly, Europe’s promise to supply 1 million artillery shells within a year has not been fulfilled, with only approximately 300,000 shells delivered thus far.
However, the aggression from Russia towards Ukraine has persisted, resulting in a strike from Russian S-300 missiles on Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine, occurring on Tuesday evening. While some buildings sustained damage, there were no reported casualties.
The United States, majority of the European Union, and over 20 other countries released a collective statement on Tuesday denouncing North Korea’s sale of missiles to Russia and the Russian armed forces’ use of those missiles in attacks against Ukraine.
The statement reported that the attacks occurred on December 30 and January 2. It also mentioned that the signatories are carefully observing the terms of trade between Russia and North Korea for the missiles.
According to the statement, providing these weapons contributes to the suffering of the Ukrainian population, supports Russia’s aggressive war, and weakens the global non-proliferation system. Additionally, Russia’s utilization of ballistic missiles from North Korea in Ukraine gives valuable technical and military knowledge to Pyongyang.
The joint statement was also signed by the foreign ministers of Argentina, Canada, Israel, Japan, Norway, and South Korea.
The Associated Press provided some of the information in this report.