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Allies' 'political games' limit Ukraine's defense, Zelensky says after Odesa attack

by Kateryna Denisova March 2, 2024 10:01 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at the "Made in Ukraine" forum in Kyiv on Feb. 26, 2024. (Presidential Office)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky called on allies to quickly transfer weapons to Ukraine, saying in his evening address on March 2 that their "political games and disputes" are limiting the country's defense.

Zelensky made the appeal after Russia's overnight drone strike against a multi-story building in Odesa which killed at least eight people, including a four-month-old boy and a two-year-old one.  A three-year-old girl is among the eight injured residents of the house.

The delay in the supply of weapons to protect Ukrainians “leads to such losses”, the president noted, saying that "the world has enough air defense systems, systems which can protect against the Shahed drones and missiles."

“Ukraine asked for nothing more than necessary to protect lives. When lives are lost, and partners are simply playing internal political games or disputes that limit our defense, it's impossible to understand. It's unacceptable,” Zelensky said.

Kyiv is being confronted with critical shortages of ammunition, as $61 billion in funding from the U.S. remains stuck in Congress, causing defense aid deliveries to run dry.

Earlier, Zelensky said that Kharkiv, which is regularly attacked by Russia, is not yet protected and safe enough for residents to return.

The southern port city of Odesa is also a frequent target of Russian drone attacks, which Moscow has intensified after the collapse of the “grain deal” in July 2023.

‘Who are they fighting, children?’ Family of 5 killed in devastating Russian attack on Kharkiv
Editor’s Note: This story contains descriptions of graphic scenes. Yuliia Solomko couldn’t fall asleep late on the night of Feb. 9. Kharkiv, her hometown, was under yet another heavy Russian attack. Worse, she could hear explosions coming from the neighborhood where her best friend and her family…
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FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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