NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine “simply cannot wait” for more air defenses to counter Moscow’s intensified aerial bombardment campaigns that Ukrainian officials said have destroyed nearly all critical energy infrastructure in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest city that borders Russia.

“Delays in delivery of air defenses will allow Russian missiles to hit more targets and delays in delivery of ammunition will allow Russia to press along the front line,” said Stoltenberg on Wednesday, April 10.

“Ukraine simply cannot wait. It needs air defenses, ammunition and aid now,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg’s comments came amidst Kyiv’s repeated calls for the West to supply more Patriot missile systems to counter Russia’s missiles, which the latter has been able to produce and procure from abroad despite ongoing Western sanctions.

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NATO promised to look into its inventories following Kyiv’s plea.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow’s intensified bombing campaigns in Kharkiv are its attempts to “do everything possible to drive people out of Kharkiv and the region” during a recent meeting in Kharkiv.

He also told German news outlet Bild that he does not rule out another major Russian offensive on the city since it holds “great symbolic importance” to Moscow – with Ukraine’s second largest city having been its former capital through much of the Soviet Union – but Kyiv has been “taking every possible measure” to halt Russian advances on the city.

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Russian milbloggers seem convinced it was American ATACMS missiles. If it was it means Washington has handed over top-end, harder-hitting models of the weapon.

In March, Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrsky said Kharkiv would be a “fatal city” for Russian troops should Moscow decide to launch a major offensive on the regional capital.

In one of the recent missile strikes on Kharkiv, Moscow employed a “double-tap” tactic that struck the same location soon after the first strike, killing a number of rescuers. Since Russia launched its full-scale war on Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, more than 20,000 buildings have been destroyed in Kharkiv.

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As the full-scale invasion reached its three-year mark in February, hints of war fatigue in the West have been apparent, with Kyiv’s Western allies failing to provide the one million shells they had pledged last year and the $60 billion military aid package Washington proposed last year nowhere to be seen, though the latter announced on Tuesday the sales of $138 million worth of urgently needed military equipment to Ukraine to repair and upgrade its HAWK missile systems.

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