Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the supply of Military Long-Range Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, “vital” in his speech on Saturday night.
“We will do everything we can to ensure that partners unlock this vital supply, especially ATACMS and other similar weapons,” Zelensky said. “Because it is necessary to protect life; protect cities like Kostyantynivka or, say, Kharkiv.”
Surface-to-surface missiles can fly about 200 miles, nearly four times the range of the missiles used by mobile HIMARS systems. The United States started sending them to Ukraine four months ago.
Zelensky said an attack on the town of Kostyantinivka in the Donetsk region earlier on Saturday left three people dead and 14 wounded. He described the bombing as an “everyday occurrence” on Ukrainian soil, and said “there can be no taboos in providing arms to protect against Russian terrorism”.
The United States refused to send ATACMS to Ukraine, fearing it could be used to attack targets inside Russia.
New penalties: Zelensky also said he had imposed new sanctions on “185 legal entities and individuals used by Russia to transport personnel and military equipment by rail.”
Their assets in Ukraine are blocked and their existing assets will be used to defend us. “We will work to ensure that similar bans are implemented by other countries,” Zelensky said.
Pressure on the Olympic Committee: The Ukrainian president has written a letter to the heads of international sports federations calling for a review of the International Olympic Committee’s decision to allow Russian athletes to return to international competitions.
Once “Russian athletes appear in international competitions,” Zelensky explained, “it is only a matter of time before they start justifying Russian aggression and using symbols of terror.”
He described the IOC’s decision as “flexibility without principles”.
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