Zelenskyy: West needs more courage in helping Ukraine fight

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Lviv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused the West of lacking courage as his country fights to stave off Russia’s invasion, making an exasperated plea for fighter jets and tanks to sustain a defense in a conflict that has ground into a war of attrition.
Speaking after US President Joe Biden met with senior Ukrainian officials in Poland on Saturday, Zelenskyy lashed out at the West’s ping-pong about who and how should hand over jets and other defensive weapons to us while Russian missile attacks kill and trap civilians.
“I’ve talked to the defenders of Mariupol today. I’m in constant contact with them. Their determination, heroism and firmness are astonishing,” Zelenskyy said in a video address early Sunday, referring to the besieged southern city that has suffered some of the war’s greatest deprivations and horrors. “If only those who have been thinking for 31 days on how to hand over dozens of jets and tanks had 1% of their courage,” he said.
Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Sunday that it used air-launched cruise missiles to hit a fuel depot and a defence plant in Lyiv. Konashenkov said another strike with sea-launched missiles destroyed a depot with air defense missiles in Plesetske just west of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
The strikes came as Biden wrapped up a visit to Poland, where he met Ukraine’s foreign and defence ministers, visited U.S. troops and saw refugees from the war. Before leaving, he delivered a forceful and highly personal condemnation of Russia President Vladimir Putin, saying: For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.
The White House quickly clarified that Biden wasn’t calling for an immediate change in government in Moscow. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced the remark, saying it’s not up to the president of the U.S. and not up to the Americans to decide who will remain in power in Russia.
Early Sunday, a chemical smell still lingered in the air as firefighters in Lviv, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) from the Polish border, sprayed water on a burned section of an oil facility hit in the Russian attack.
A security guard at the site, Yaroslav Prokopiv, said he saw three rockets strike and destroy two oil tanks but no one was hurt.
Russia’s back-to-back airstrikes shook the city that has become a haven for an estimated 200,000 people who have fled bombarded towns and cities. Lviv also has been a way-station for most of the 3.8 million refugees have left Ukraine since Russia first invaded on Feb. 24.
The city had been largely spared since the invasion began, although missiles struck an aircraft repair facility near the main airport a week ago.