Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has reiterated calls for an “air shield” to protect the country from missiles and drone attacks.
Zelenskyy revealed in a post on X that Russia has launched over 330 missiles of various types and approximately 600 combat drones at Ukrainian cities since the beginning of the year.
“To withstand such terrorist pressure, a sufficiently strong air shield is required. And this is the type of air shield we are building with our partners,” he stated.
“We must ensure Ukraine’s control over its skies, which is also critical to ensuring security on the ground — from frontline positions to hospitals and schools in the rear. Air defense and electronic warfare are our top priorities. Russian terror must be defeated – this is achievable.”
In a video embedded in the post, it was noted that an “effective” air shield should contain many layers that extends from the frontline to areas where commercial and civilian infrastructure are based.
Earlier, Josep Borrell, Vice President of the European Commission and EU foreign policy Chief said that Europe’s safety is at stake if Vladimir Putin wins the war in Ukraine.
In a piece written in a French publication, Borell said, “We hear again that Ukraine cannot win and that western support will not hold. And once again, the temptations of conciliation resurface. These ideas were wrong in 2022, and they remain wrong today. We must not let them shape our policy towards Ukraine.
“Ukraine’s victory in the face of Russian aggression is the best guarantee of security for Europe,” he added.
Meanwhile, an EU official who spoke on condition of anonymity disclosed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will participate in an emergency online-format EU summit in February, where long-term financial support for Ukraine will be discussed.
It is said that EU leaders will reaffirm their commitment to providing “timely, predictable and sustainable military support” to Ukraine in the future at the summit.
The main topic of the Brussels summit is an attempt to reach an agreement on a package of four-year financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of €50 billion, which Hungary blocked at the previous summit in December.
Russia Increases Production Of Air Defence Missiles
Also on Tuesday, Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu said in video footage that Russia is increasing production of air defence missiles.
He added that there were “key issues” that needed to be addressed.
The release of the footage by the defence ministry follows hits by drones launched from Ukraine on Russian cities and energy infrastructure while Moscow presses on with its military campaign against Kyiv.
Shoigu was shown inspecting defence industry facilities in the Urals industrial city of Ekaterinburg and touring factories producing sea- and ground-launched cruise missiles and air defence systems.
“There has been a significant increase in the volume of production. We have more than doubled production of the missiles we need for air defence,” he said at one factory.
“But there are some key issues we need to address. And we need to address them quite vigorously. There is the question of engines, and there is the question of the establishment of launcher production,” he added.
Russian officials have in recent months flagged rapid improvements in the country’s military industrial capacity, aimed at bolstering Russia’s military in its deadlocked campaign against Ukraine.
Over the recent weeks, attacks, some of which have been claimed by Ukrainian officials or blamed on Kyiv by the Kremlin, have hit Russian cities and oil and gas facilities.