Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's Foreign Minister is pinning hopes on Ukraine’s allies agreeing to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense at the NATO-Ukraine Council meeting on Wednesday.
Although dozens were killed, had Ukraine not been able to largely repel a massive Russian aerial bombardment from Dec. 29 to Jan. 5, the results would have been “catastrophic,” Ukraine Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny said.
The mass shelling prompted Ukraine to request the emergency NATO-Ukraine Council meeting, which allies – who condemned the latest shelling in Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine – agreed to hold in Brussels Wednesday.
Since Ukraine’s requested meeting, more Russian missiles reached their targets than usual on Monday – with less than half of the kamikaze drones, ballistic and cruise missiles launched by Russian armed forces being shot down and leading some to fear that Ukraine’s ammunition is already getting lower.
Kuleba said that Kyiv expects the meeting will “expedite critical decisions on further strengthening Ukraine's air defense capabilities. Both in terms of modern systems and their ammunition.”
He also said that an effective air defense in Ukraine reduces the likelihood that “a Russian missile or drone will accidentally fly into bordering NATO airspace.”
On Jan. 3, NATO headquarters issued a statement in condemnation of Russia’s bombardment.
“NATO strongly condemns Russia's missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian civilians, cities and towns. This is yet another proof of Putin's attempt to break Ukraine's resilience. He will not succeed.”
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