Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday the wall street journal newspaper that a ceasefire with Russia without recovering lost territories would only prolong the war.
Ceding land that Russia currently controls would encourage aggressive Russian behavior while giving it a much-needed opportunity to regroup and rearm before launching the next assault.
Zelenskyy told the newspaper that while America’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) “are making a difference”, they are not enough “to turn the tide”.
“A more pressing need is for air defense systems that could prevent Russia from raining down long-range missiles on otherwise peaceful cities hundreds of miles from the front lines,” the president added.
“Territories,” Zelenskyy said, “must be liberated first, then we can negotiate what to do and how we can live in the centuries to come.”
The White House announced on Friday that the United States would provide Ukraine with another defense assistance package, this one worth $270 million (264.6 million euros).
The loan includes $100 million for the purchase of “Phoenix Ghost” suicide drones. Kyiv will receive 580 of the so-called stray munitions drones as part of the deal.
Produced by California-based AEVEX Aerospace, the drones can linger for up to six hours before engaging medium-armored ground targets with an explosive charge. They can also be used for surveillance and have infrared sensors for nighttime operation.
Here are the other headlines from the July 22 war in Ukraine.
Lithuania lifts Kaliningrad rail transit ban
Lithuania has lifted a ban on rail transport of sanctioned goods to and from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, according to the RIA news agency.
Last week, the European Union said the transit ban only affected road transit.
The Kaliningrad region borders Poland and Lithuania and depends on importing goods from the rest of Russia through EU territory.
Lithuania blocked Russia from sending sanctioned goods by rail to Kaliningrad in June.
The grain agreement between Ukraine and Russia is concluded
UN chief Antonio Guterres said an agreement brokered by the UN and Turkey had been reached to allow Ukrainian ports to restart grain exports.
A months-long Russian blockade has driven up prices and threatened global food shortages.
The proposal, which was signed by the two warring parties in Istanbul on Friday, marks the first major agreement between the two warring parties and has boosted hopes that a worsening food security crisis can now be eased.
Kyiv denies that Russia destroyed artillery rocket systems delivered by the United States
Russia says its forces destroyed four US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) in Ukraine earlier this month.
Between July 5 and July 20, “four launchers and a reloading vehicle for the American-made Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (HIMARS) were destroyed,” the Russian Defense Ministry said during a briefing. daily press.
Kyiv dismissed Moscow’s claims, calling them “false” intended to undermine Western support for Ukraine. The reports could not be independently verified.
Kyiv hailed the arrival of eight HIMARS in Ukraine as a possible game-changer in the war.
Advanced weapons are more accurate and provide longer range than other artillery systems, allowing Kyiv to hit Russian targets and weapon depots further behind the front lines.
School in eastern Ukraine hit by Russian strike
Three bodies have been removed from a school hit by a Russian strike in eastern Ukraine, officials said.
The deaths occurred in Kramatorsk, Donetsk province, where Russian shelling also damaged 85 residential buildings.
A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said the strike killed more than 300 Ukrainian soldiers who were using the school building as a base. He said another strike destroyed an ammunition depot in the industrial zone of the southern city of Mykolaiv.
The casualties follow a roadblock on a densely populated area of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, which killed at least three people and injured 23 others.
United States: the war claims hundreds of Russian victims every day
The Russian military is suffering hundreds of casualties a day in its war in Ukraine, a senior US defense official has said.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that in addition to the lieutenants and captains killed, the lives of hundreds of Russian colonels and “many” generals were also lost.
The United States estimates that Russian casualties so far have reached around 15,000 killed and possibly 45,000 wounded.
The Kyiv government said in June that 100 to 200 Ukrainian soldiers were being killed every day.
German public opinion supports sanctions against Russia
More than half of Germans support the sanctions imposed on Russia, despite the possible consequences of the fallout, according to a poll by public broadcaster ARD.
Asked in the survey, 58% favored a hard line on Moscow, even if energy prices are expected to soar as a result.
In eastern Germany, however, 51% were opposed if the sanctions meant higher energy prices and a decline in the country’s economy. In the west of the country, 63% are in favor of measures against Russia, whatever the consequences on energy prices.
Earlier this month, Germany’s energy regulator estimated monthly heating bills could triple due to a significant drop in Russian gas imports.
Russian-backed separatists block Google
Pro-Russian separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine said on Friday they blocked Google, accusing the search engine of advocating “violence against Russians, especially residents of Donbass”.
“We have taken the decision to block Google on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” rebel leader Denis Pushilin said on Telegram.
The self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, neighboring Donetsk, blocked Google on Thursday.
Russia accuses Greece, Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia and Slovakia of ‘carrying out hostile actions’
The Russian government has added Greece, Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia and Slovakia to its list of foreign states it deems “unfriendly”.
“The [Russian] The government has updated the list of foreign states that carry out hostile actions against Russian diplomatic and consular missions abroad. Greece, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia have been included in the list,” a Russian government statement said.
A decree has been passed which means that Slovenia and Croatia will no longer be able to hire people in Russia for their diplomatic missions there, while the number of employees in Russia has been limited for Greece, the Denmark and Slovakia.
Russian gas still passes through Nord Stream
German pipeline operator Nord Stream 1 said on Friday that the same amount of gas was flowing as before the start of the maintenance period. However, this is only about 40% of the total capacity, as Russia refused the taps.
Europe still fears that Russia will completely cut off gas flows by winter, triggering an energy crisis.
Germany on Friday finalized a bailout for Uniper, Germany’s biggest importer of Russian gas, after Gazprom cut supplies, raising prices and forcing the company to the brink of bankruptcy.
Catch up on DW’s Ukrainian content
What has Russia learned from Iran about circumventing Western sanctions? After Vladimir Putin’s trip to Iran, Moscow may be learning a lesson from Iran’s expertise in evading sanctions, observers note.
As Russia’s energy supply is threatened by tensions with Russia, the European Union is proposing ways to reduce dependency.
jsi/wmr (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)