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Zelensky calls on allies to allow Ukraine to strike military targets on Russian soil with Western arms

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 26, 2024 10:11 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky records a video address to the world leaders in Kharkiv, Ukraine, at the printing house destroyed in a Russian strike that killed seven people. The address was published on May 26, 2024. (Presidential Office)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Ukraine's partners to allow Kyiv to use Western weapons to strike military targets in Russia on May 26.

"We see every point of concentration of Russian troops. We know all the areas where Russian missiles and combat aircraft are launched," Zelensky said in his evening address.

"Destroying this terrorist force, and thus saving thousands of lives and guaranteeing that the expansion of the war will be stopped, is purely a political decision. A decision that needs to be made."

Ukraine’s allies have discussed Kyiv’s calls to greenlight the use of Western weapons on military targeting within Russia. German Green Party politician Anton Hofreiter recently spoke in favor of the idea in order to protect Ukrainian civilians.

In his address, Zelensky also urged Ukraine’s partners to "speed up" and increase the supply of F-16s to Ukraine, as well as thanking them for their condolence and condemnation of the Russian May 25 strike on a hypermarket in Kharkiv that killed 16 people but said that "it’s important that this condemnation leads to entirely fair consequences."

"That we finally get a sufficient number of air defense systems to protect Ukraine and our cities. And that our partners have enough determination for preemptive protection against Russian terrorists, just as they would strike at any other terrorists – destroying them before they start taking lives," he said.

Ukrainian member of parliament Yehor Cherniev claimed that Washington has begun to discuss the decision to allow Ukraine to use U.S. weapons on Russian territory, citing informal conversations on the sidelines of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

"The problem so far is that decisions there are made by a team that currently lacks consensus. But there is pressure from all sides. There are chances, so we are not slowing down," he wrote on Telegram on May 26.

Earlier in the day, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was against Ukraine using Western weapons to target Russian territory.

Speaking at an event in Berlin, Scholz said that Germany gave clear rules to Ukraine prohibiting the use of German weapons on Russian soil and that he sees no reason to change this. He added that his policy is to prevent escalation into a “really big war.”

Ukraine recently said that Washington's ban meant Ukraine was unable to attack Russian forces as they were building up before crossing the border into Kharkiv Oblast in the renewed Russian offensive that began earlier in May.

Zelensky: Russia forming another grouping of forces near Ukraine’s northern border
“Russia is preparing for offensive actions also 90 kilometers northwest from here – they gather another group of troops near our border... The one who does all this doesn’t want peace,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address to the world leaders recorded in Kharkiv on May 26.
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