Zelensky makes an urgent call in Berlin for more air defense systems


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday made another urgent plea for more air defense systems and help to rebuild his country’s devastated energy infrastructure at a Ukrainian Recovery Conference in Berlin.

Zelensky said his country will soon need at least seven more Patriot air defense missile systems to protect major cities from frequent Russian air attacks.

These Russian attacks targeted, among other things, the electricity infrastructure and caused extensive damage.

Zelensky’s remarks at the Berlin conference were regularly interrupted by applause from the assembled leaders and officials of business and international organizations.

He thanked the German government, which is hosting the conference, for its efforts to provide more air defense and other assistance, including two Patriot systems and the promise of a third.

But despite the aid received so far, Russian forces still have a strategic advantage in the air, Zelensky said, with glide bombs, missiles and drones causing serious damage.

Zelensky said the only way to get Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate peace is to deny him the opportunity to use force to make gains in Ukraine.

Ukraine has asked its allies for more powerful weapons to stop Russian attacks. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who also attended the conference, continued to deny some Ukrainian requests, including for long-range Taurus cruise missiles.

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