KYIV: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that his country needs long-range missiles to help combat Russian missile attacks following a blast in the Donetsk region on Saturday that killed three people.
“It would have been possible to stop this Russian terror if we could provide the appropriate missile capabilities of our military,” Zelensky said in an address posted to the president’s website on Saturday.
“Ukraine needs long-range missiles — in particular, to remove this possibility of the occupiers to place their missile launchers somewhere far from the front line and destroy Ukrainian cities with them,” he added.
Russia has been able to attack regions in Ukraine that are far from the front lines, such as the Donetsk region, because of its long-range missile capability. As Zelensky pleads with foreign allies to provide more military aid, the U.S. has held back on providing such weaponry, worried that Kyiv would launch an aerial attack on Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. U.S. defense leaders believe militarily taking back Crimea is nearly impossible in the short term.
But that hasn’t stopped Zelensky from repeated requests for long-range support.
Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), a Ukrainian native, has also pressured the Biden administration to provide long-range missiles to the country.
“The next six months will be critical to the brutal war in Ukraine and longer-range capabilities will be crucial for its success,” Spartz said in a statement Wednesday. “The Biden Administration needs to be proactive for a change and provide proper security assistance to the Ukrainian Army more timely to deter further Russian aggression.”