Ukraine President Zelensky’s Call for More Patriot Missiles to Counter Russian Air Superiority

2023-06-03 11:14:00

The Ukrainian president affirms that the preparations for the counter-offensive, expected for weeks, are now complete. However, he fears Russian superiority in the air domain.

Preparations for a Ukrainian counter-offensive are complete, but the loss of life could be heavy due to Russian air superiority, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

“In my opinion, from today, we are ready (…) We firmly believe that we will succeed”, he assured in an interview published this Saturday by the Wall Street Journal.

However, he clarified that he did not know “how long (the counter-offensive) will take”.

Zelensky demands more Patriot missiles

The president also warned that the offensive would be “dangerous” without increased Western aid to counter Russian air attacks.

“Everyone knows that a counter-offensive without air superiority is very dangerous,” added the Ukrainian president.

“A single weapon, the American Patriot surface-to-air missile system, can protect Ukrainian skies” and “deprive Russia of its ability to intimidate tens of millions of people”, he added, asking that more such weapons be delivered to his country.

“Too late” to join NATO in the middle of the war

In view of the NATO summit to be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, next month, Volodymyr Zelensky admitted to having understood that it was not possible for his country to join the Atlantic Alliance during the Russian invasion.

“We don’t want to be a NATO member during the war,” he said. “It’s too late. But tell me how many lives is worth a sentence at the top of Vilnius?”

“If we are not recognized and if we do not receive a signal in Vilnius” (with a view to possible future membership, editor’s note) “I think it is useless for Ukraine to participate in this summit”, he estimated.

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