21 May 2024, 14:23

Ukraine 'urgently' needs more air defences: Germany FM

KYIV, Ukraine, May 21, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Ukraine urgently needs to boost its air defences in the face of relentless Russian attacks, Germany's top diplomat said on Tuesday as she arrived in Kyiv.

"The situation in Ukraine has once more dramatically deteriorated with the massive Russian aerial attacks on civilian infrastructure, and the brutal Russian offensive in the Kharkiv region", Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said as she arrived in Kyiv by train, her eighth visit to the country since Russia invaded in February 2022.

To protect itself from the "rain of Russian drones and missiles," Ukraine "urgently needs a boosted air defence," she said.

"Our support is based on the deep conviction that Ukraine will win this war," Baerbock said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Ukraine and its allies will at some point run out of steam, she said, but "we have the capacity to hold out."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned last week that a Russian ground offensive launched this month in the eastern Kharkiv region may only be a "first wave" and that Russian troops could be aiming for the city of Kharkiv -- the second largest in Ukraine.

He has repeatedly called on Ukraine's allies to provide at least seven more air defence systems, including at least two for to protect the Kharkiv region.


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