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Zelensky appeals for more air defence supplies


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for more air defence supplies after Russia used over 40 missiles and 40 drones to attack the country’s critical infrastructure in five regions.

The attacks damaged substations and power facilities and caused emergency power cuts for at least 200,000 people, officials said.

Russia last month renewed its long-range aerial assaults on Ukraine’s energy system more than two years since the full-scale invasion.

The latest attack used 82 missiles and drones, the military said.

“We need air defence and other defence support, not eye-closing and long discussions,” President Zelensky said, appealing for more air defence supplies from Western assistance.

Ukrainian stocks of air defences and artillery have dwindled as assistance from the West has slowed down and a major US aid package has been blocked by Republicans in Congress.

Air defences took down 18 of the incoming missiles and 39 drones, the air force commander said.

The Ukrenergo grid operator’s substations and power generating facilities sustained damage in the regions of Odesa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv and Kyiv, it said in a statement.

At least ten missiles struck the city of Kharkiv, which lies just 30km from the Russian border, the interior minister said.

The northeastern region of Kharkiv, which has been pounded by missiles and shelling and already has long, rolling blackouts in place, was forced to cut electricity to 200,000 people, presidential aide Oleksiy Kuleba said.

DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private electricity company, said Russia attacked two of its power stations, inflicting further serious damage.

DTEK was hit last month by Russia’s worst attacks since the 2022 invasion on 22 March and 29 March and around 80% of its available capacity was destroyed.

Ukraine’s national oil and gas firm Naftogaz also said that Russian strikes attacked two underground gas storage facilities overnight.


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