Ukraine ‘ran out of missiles’ to block Russian strikes, Zelenskyy says

Credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Ukraine was unable to prevent a Russian airstrike last week that destroyed a power plant in Kyiv because it '"ran out of missiles", President Volodomyr Zelenskyy said.

Russia fired 11 missiles towards the Trypilska power plant, Zelenskyy said. Ukrainian air defences downed the first seven missiles, but the next four completely destroyed the plant.

“Why? Because we had zero missiles. We ran out of all missiles,” Zelenskyy told PBS NewsHour.

Zelenskyy has repeatedly warned allies that Ukraine’s air defences are low in supply, as Russia has recently renewed its assault on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

He added Iran’s attack on Israel demonstrated that Western countries were able to protect their allies. Iran fired more than 300 projectiles at Israel in an unprecedented attack over the weekend, but the majority were blocked with the help of US, UK, French and Jordanian air defences.

“Israel, by itself, wouldn’t be able to protect against such a numerous, powerful strike. And here, definitely, they used air defence and aviation, many things that, frankly speaking, Ukraine is lacking,” he said.

Zelenskyy questioned why Israel has enjoyed such comprehensive support from NATO members despite not being a member of the alliance.

“Israel is not a NATO country. The NATO allies, including NATO countries, have been defending Israel. They showed the Iranian forces that Israel was not alone. And this is a lesson. This is a response to anyone on any continent who says you need to assist Ukraine very carefully so you don’t engage NATO countries in the war,” he said.

“Nobody cares how many people are dying in Ukraine every day. They only care about their approval ratings. That’s what it’s all about. But forgetting that dead people don’t care about ratings”, Zelenskyy added.

He said Russia enjoys a 10-to-one advantage in terms of artillery shells. “To defend 100 percent of what’s in our control, we would need to go from one to comparing numbers, 10-10.”

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