Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy thanked Poland and Slovakia for their decision to provide Soviet MiG-29 fighter jets, he said, via video link to an EU summit on Thursday. “It will significantly strengthen the security of our airspace. But we need modern aircraft.
Slovakia announced on Thursday that it had handed over the first 4 of its 13 Soviet MiG-29s to Ukraine. Earlier, Poland had announced the delivery of similar fighter jets. Zelensky has long been pushing for the supply of modern fighter jets from the West.
Zelensky asked the summit participants if there was any reason behind the delay in the delivery of modern aircraft. He cited Russian threats before the German delivery of the Leopard main battle tank from the EU. “So what did Russia do? We should all get used to the fact that a terrorist state confuses more often than it escalates.”
Selensky emphasized: “Time is of the essence. Not just months and weeks, days are important. The faster we work together, the more lives we can save.” At the same time, he noted previous support from abroad. “This is proof that Europe knows how to defend its values and has the courage to stand up to terrorism,” he said.
Zelensky: Life returns to destroyed villages
After visiting the Cherson region in southern Ukraine, which was largely retaken by Ukrainian troops in the fall, Zelensky made a positive decision. “In some places, more than 90 percent of the buildings were destroyed,” Zelenskyj said in his late night video address on Thursday. “But even for villages like that, people are coming back and it’s proof that life still wins.” Ukraine will do everything in its power to “rebuild our territories.”
Life returns to the fields around Cherson. “It’s great to see how fields destroyed by Russian mines and bombs in the Kherson region are being cultivated and brought back to life,” Zelensky said. However, there are still enough fields being cut. “There is still enough work for our pioneers and pyrotechnicians.” But Zelenskyy stressed that he hoped these regions would be freed from all of Russia’s deadly traditions. “All Ukraine will live.”
In this case, Zelenski expressed special thanks to Finland. The government in Helsinki decided on Thursday to hand over three Leopard demining vehicles to Ukraine.
Kiev: Russians begin “cleansing operation” in Kherson region
According to Ukrainian civil servants, Russian troops and security services have begun so-called cleansing operations among the population on the banks of the Dnipro they control in the southern Ukrainian region of Cherson. The search for pro-Ukrainian citizens, military pensioners and employees of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies has begun in various settlements there, the public service in Kiev announced Thursday in its daily situation report on Facebook.
In contrast, a large-scale raid took place in the Nova Kachovka settlement. A large number of household appliances, jewelery and mobile phones were “confiscated” from the public. The information could not be independently verified.
During the Ukrainian offensive in the fall, the Russian army retreated from the west bank of the Dnipro near Cherson. Since then, Russian troops have greatly expanded their defense lines along the southern bank of the river.
Russian missile attack on Odessa
The Russian Air Force fired several rockets at the port city of Odessa in southern Ukraine on Thursday evening. According to initial reports by the Ukrainian military, two missiles were intercepted by anti-aircraft defenses. Additional information was not initially available. The previous day, Odessa had been hit by several rockets.