War in Ukraine War in Ukraine  (AFP or licensors)

Russian missiles pummel Ukraine after request for Western jets

Kyiv says Russia launched over 50 missiles at Ukraine on Friday, a day after President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded in Europe for more military support, including fighter jets.

By Stefan J. Bos

As air raids wailed across the nation, Russia unleashed strategic bombers, killer drones, and rockets in a barrage of attacks on Ukrainian targets early Friday.

Ukraine's military said Russia focused its bombardments on Ukraine's industrial east, especially the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014.

But the barrage also hit the capital, Kyiv, and struck critical infrastructure in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city in the northeast, reportedly injuring several people.

It came a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed for more weapons, including fighter jets while addressing European Union leaders and its parliament following similar requests in Britain and Paris earlier in the week.

Heard through an interpreter, Zelensky told reporters in Brussels, Belgium, that he hasn't given up on Ukraine's European ambitions.

However, he stressed that Ukraine needed combat aircraft to reach its goals. He had a similar message this week in London, where he gave the speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, a helmet of an exceptional Ukrainian pilot.

"This helmet is of a real Ukrainian pilot. He is one of our most successful pilots. He is one of our kings," he said, reverberating through Westminster Hall in London. "And the writing in the helmet says: 'We have freedom, give us wings to protect it.' I trust this symbol will help us for our next coalition," a coalition of the planes," Zelensky stressed.

"And I appeal to you and the world with these simple and most  important words: "Combat aircraft for Ukraine, wings for freedom,"  he added in a speech often interrupted by applause.

Listen to the report:


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10 February 2023, 15:59