Zelenskiy Pleads For Air Defenses After ‘Vile’ Russian Strikes

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village of Lyptsi

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been left without electricity following massive Russian air strikes on Ukraine’s infrastructure, which prompted President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to launch another impassioned appeal to Western allies to provide Kyiv with desperately needed air-defense systems.

Energy infrastructure was the main target of the Russian missile and drone strikes on four Ukrainian regions early on April 11, Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said.

“Generation facilities and transmission systems in the Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhya, Lviv, and Kyiv regions were attacked. Energy workers are working on eliminating the consequences,” Halushchenko said in a message on Facebook.

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, which is located less that 30 kilometers from the Russian border, was again the main target of Russia’s attack in the early hours of April 11, with 10 air strikes reported by local officials.

The strikes cut the energy supply to more than 200,000 consumers in Kharkiv, Oleksiy Kuleba, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said on Telegram.

“As of now, there are no victims. Information is being updated. We are already fixing power outages,” Kharkiv military administration chief Oleh Synyehubov wrote on Telegram, while Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said the strikes caused problems to public transport and electricity lines.

“The subway will be closed for the next few hours, so plan your routes accordingly,” Terekhov wrote on Telegram.

Russian attacks on Kharkiv have intensified in recent weeks. Mayor Ihor Terekhov said recently that S-300 missiles need only 40 seconds to reach Kharkiv from the Russian region of Belgorod.

Zelenskiy said Russia has attacked with scores of drones and missiles, overwhelming Ukraine’s dwindling air-defense system and ammunition.

“More than 40 missiles and about 40 attack drones. Some of the rockets and Shahed [drones] were shot down. Unfortunately, only a part,” Zelenskiy wrote on Telegram, calling the latest attack “vile.”

He called on Ukraine’s allies to act faster and provide Ukraine with the means to defend itself.

“Air defense and other defense support are needed, not turning a blind eye and long discussions,” Zelenskiy wrote, adding that permitting Moscow to bomb Ukraine with impunity ammounted to giving Russia carte blanche to terrorize the world.

“If Russia is allowed to continue to do this, if Russian missiles and ‘Shaheds’ will strike not only at Ukraine but also at the determination of its partners, this will be a global license for terror,” he wrote.

A $60 billion U.S. aid package has been stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives for months, blocked by a small number of Republicans who believe domestic matters should take priority, despite both the State Department and Defense Department pushing Congress to pass it.

On April 10, the top U.S. general in Europe warned that Ukraine cannot sustain the fight against Russia alone.

General Christopher Cavoli, the commander of European Command, told the House Armed Services Committee on April 10 that the severity of the situation in Ukraine “can’t be overstated” as troops on the battlefield run short of ammunition and as the country’s air-defense capabilities are depleted.

“Ukraine cannot sustain this fight alone. The United States, our allies, and partners must continue to provide Ukraine with munitions, weapons, and materiel,” Cavoli said.