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Ukraine proposes that the West shoot down Russian missiles

Ukraine proposed Tuesday that its allies defeated Russian missiles targeting it from their territory, if "all necessary means" To do so were not provided to the Ukrainian forces, which lack anti-aircraft 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 Westerners to help destroy Russian missiles above its territory, but its allies then estimated that the risk of escalation of the conflict was too great.

Mr. Kouleba dismissed the argument out of hand 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.

Ukraine proposes that the West shoot down Russian missiles

Firefighters in the rubble of houses hit by a Russian drone attack near Kharkiv, May 21, 2024 in Ukraine © AFP – SERGEY BOBOK

“If you do not want to do this, provide us with all the necessary means. We will deploy them on the territory of Ukraine and we will intercept these missiles ourselves,” he concluded .

On a surprise visit to kyiv, Ms. Baerbock insisted on the need to deliver more anti-aircraft assets to this country as quickly as possible.

“Each hesitation and every delay in supporting Ukraine costs innocent lives And every hesitation to support Ukraine also endangers our own security,” said the German minister.

<. p>According to her, Russian President Vladimir Putin “knows no limits” and has launched a campaign of “destruction” of Ukraine, citing the example of its electricity network relentlessly bombed by Russia.< /p>

– “Top priority” –

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

Ukraine proposes that the West shoot down Russian missiles

Firefighters put out a fire after a Russian drone attack near Kharkiv, May 21, 2024 in Ukraine. © AFP – SERGEY BOBOK

His trip comes at a time when intense fighting is taking place in the border region of Kharkiv (north-east), 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 worried upon its arrival about a situation which had “dramatically worsened” 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.

Ukraine proposes that the West shoot down Russian missiles

Ukraine: positions of military forces © AFP – Valentin RAKOVSKY, Sophie RAMIS, Cléa PECULIER, Gal ROMA

The head of the occupation administration in Ukraine's Kharkiv region said Tuesday that the Russian army now controls “around 40%” of the town of Vovchansk, one of the two border areas from the northeast where it attacked.

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 the Russian television channel. Pervy Kanal.

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

– Exercises involving nuclear weapons –

In response to Ms. Baerbock, the Kremlin said that an increase in deliveries of Western weapons to Ukraine would not change the advantage Russia currently has on the front.

Ukraine proposes that the West shoot down Russian missiles

Firefighters clear debris after a Russian drone attack on houses near Kharkiv, May 21, 2024 in Ukraine. © AFP – SERGEY BOBOK

“This will not allow the Ukrainian armed forces to somehow change the dynamics on the fronts,” its spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

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

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 were 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 against a transport company”, he added.

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

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

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