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Cultural artifacts stolen from Ukraine during the ongoing Russian invasion were restored to President Volodymyr Zelensky at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., the president's office reported on Sept. 21.

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Zelensky representative: Military installations in Russia are legitimate targets.

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 5, 2023 1:03 AM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Fedir Venislavsky, President Volodymyr Zelensky's representative in parliament, said in a Feb. 4 interview that all military installations in Russia from which it is waging its war are legitimate military targets for Ukraine.

"Russia attacks peaceful Ukrainian cities from its territory, just like from Belarus," Venislavsky, a member of parliament's security and defense committee, told Bild, a German newspaper. "Are the places where Russia stores its missiles legitimate military targets? Of course, without question.”

He also said that "any command center in the Russian capital is a legitimate military target." Venislavsky added that it is up to Ukraine's military leadership whether to strike such targets.

Ukraine's allies have urged it not to use Western weapons against Russian territory, fearing "an escalation." Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov on Feb. 2 called on the West to provide long-range ATACMS missiles and said Ukraine would guarantee that they would not be used against Russian territory.

The counter-argument used by critics is that Ukraine's inability to attack targets in Russia allows the Kremlin to launch strikes from Russian territory and kill Ukrainians en masse without Ukraine being able to destroy the weapons used to attack it.

Venislavsky also told Bild that Ukraine needs from 500 to 700 tanks to liberate all the Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine. Ukraine’s allies have promised to send 143 tanks, which is not sufficient for ending the war, he added.

Venislavsky also said that the Ukrainian army could have liberated more occupied territory if these tanks had arrived in Ukraine last summer.

“We lacked 100 tanks. (If we had them) we could have completely liberated Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts,” he said.

Critics also argue that allies' reluctance to supply F-16 fighters and long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine will prevent Kyiv from launching a major offensive and liberating Ukrainian territory. Ukraine's lack of advanced aircraft and missiles is also likely to prolong Russia's war of aggression and result in thousands of deaths.

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