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Ukraine proposes that the West shoot down Russian missiles

Photo: Roman Pilipey Agence France-Presse Intense fighting is taking place in the Kharkiv border region in the northeast of the country, where Moscow's troops have been on the offensive since May 10.

Victoria Lukovenko – Agence France-Presse and Daria Andriievska – Agence France-Presse to kyiv

Posted at 12:26 p.m.

  • Europe

Ukraine proposed Tuesday that its allies shoot down Russian missiles targeting it from their territory, if “all necessary means” to do so were not provided to Ukrainian forces, which lack air defense systems.

The proposal came from the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba, during a press conference in kyiv with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, who estimated that the hesitations on military aid to Ukraine “threaten” the security of Westerners. “There is no legal, security or moral argument that would prevent our partners from shooting down Russian missiles over the territory of Ukraine from their territory,” Mr. Kouleba said.

At the start of the invasion, Ukraine had already called on the West to help destroy the Russian missiles above its territory, but its allies then estimated that the risk of escalation of the conflict was too great.

Mr. Kouleba brushed aside the argument on Tuesday, noting that shooting down missiles does not endanger Russia or Russian soldiers. These are “pieces of metal that carry death from Russia to Ukraine,” he insisted. “If you don’t want to do it, provide us with whatever means necessary. We will deploy them on the territory of Ukraine and we will intercept these missiles ourselves,” he concluded.

In a surprise visit to kyiv, Ms. Baerbock insisted on the need to deliver more anti-aircraft assets to this country as quickly as possible. “Every hesitation and delay in supporting Ukraine costs innocent lives. And every hesitation to support Ukraine also endangers our own security,” judged the German minister.

According to her, Russian President Vladimir Putin “knows no limit” and unleashed a campaign of “destruction” of Ukraine, citing the example of its power grid being relentlessly bombed by Russia.

Anti-aircraft defense, “absolute priority”

“The best protection against Russian missile terror is to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses. So this is a top priority for us these days,” Ms. Baerbock said.

Her trip comes at a time when intense fighting is taking place. are taking place in the border region of Kharkiv in the northeast of the country, where Moscow's troops have been on the offensive since May 10, and after a new nighttime Russian drone attack on Kharkiv and other Ukrainian regions.

The German minister, whose eighth visit to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022, was concerned upon her arrival about a situation which has “worsened dramatically” for the Ukrainian army.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Russian assault in the Kharkiv region could be the “first wave” of a much larger operation.

The head of The occupation administration in Ukraine's Kharkiv region said Tuesday that the Russian army now controls “around 40 percent” of the town of Vovchansk, one of two northeastern border areas it has moved into. 'attack. The Russian soldiers “continue to advance towards the Vovcha, the river which divides the city into two parts. […] The northern part of the city has already been completely liberated,” Vitali Gantchev told Russian TV channel Pervy Kanal.

According to a spokesperson for the Ukrainian forces in the region, the situation on the ground “remains difficult and changing rapidly.”

Exercises involving nuclear weapons< /h2>

In response to Baerbock, the Kremlin said that an increase in Western arms supplies to Ukraine would not change Russia's current advantage on the front. “This will not allow the Ukrainian armed forces to somehow change the dynamics,” Ukrainian spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

In addition, Russia announced on Tuesday the start, near Ukrainian territory, of exercises involving nuclear weapons, claiming that this was a response to Western “threats”.

The Ukrainian Air Force, for its part, announced on Tuesday that it had shot down 28 of the 29 Shahed explosive drones sent overnight by Russia, notably on the city of Kharkiv, the second largest in Ukraine, and southern and central regions.

In Kharkiv, around thirty trucks, buses and cars were damaged and two houses, a garage and a minibus set on fire by falling drone debris, said regional governor Oleg Synegoubov. Two people were also injured early in the city, “following a rocket attack on a transport company”, he added.

Across this region, more than 14,000 people have been displaced by the fighting, the World Health Organization deplored on Tuesday.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116