Tue, Jan

Biden Promises Air Defence Support For Ukraine

Europe News

President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday after a cascade of Russian missiles targeted energy and military infrastructure across cities in Ukraine. While condemning the strikes Biden pledged continued US security assistance “including advanced air defense systems.” During the call, a White House statement said, Biden “expressed his condemnation of Russia’s missile strikes across Ukraine, including in Kyiv, and conveyed his condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured in these senseless attacks. President Biden pledged to continue providing Ukraine with the support needed to defend itself, including advanced air defense systems.” U.S. President Joe Biden and other Group of Seven leaders will convene virtually later on Tuesday to discuss what more they can do to support Ukraine and to listen to Zelenskiy, who has called air defence systems his "number 1 priority". Biden has already promised more air defences.

Ukrainians woke up to the wailing of new air raid sirens on Tuesday, with parts of the country left without power. Officials said 19 were killed on Monday in cruise missile strikes across the country, the biggest air raids since the start of the war.

The broad avenues of the capital Kyiv were largely deserted after air raid sirens resounded as the morning rush hour was beginning – the same time that Russian missiles struck the day before. Residents took cover again deep in the underground Metro, where trains were still running.

Russia's defence ministry said it has continued to launch what it called a massive strike on Ukraine's energy and military infrastructure using "high-precision long-range air and sea-based" weapons.

The defence ministry said the purpose of the strike has been achieved and "all designated facilities have been hit", however, regional heads across Ukraine say attacks are ongoing, with strikes reported in Lviv and Zaporizhzhia this morning.

President Vladimir Putin, under domestic pressure to ramp up the conflict as his forces have lost ground since the start of September, revealed that he ordered the strikes as revenge for an explosion that damaged Russia's bridge to annexed Crimea.

Kyiv and its allies condemned Russia's strikes, which mainly hit civil infrastructure such as power stations. Missiles also hit parks, tourist sites and busy rush hour streets.