NewsZelensky Issues Dire Warning as Putin Pushes Forward

Zelensky Issues Dire Warning as Putin Pushes Forward

Russia destroyed a thermal power plant in Kyiv because Ukraine had run out of missiles to defend it, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said as he warned that without further U.S. aid to fight Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression, Ukraine would “have no chance of winning.”

Zelensky told PBS NewsHour that the destruction of the Trypilska thermal power plant on April 11—which cut out the generating capacity of Centrenergo, an energy company the capital depends on—was the result of the country having “zero missiles.”

“Eleven missiles were headed towards it. The first seven, we took down,” he said in the interview released on April 16. He added that the other four missiles destroyed the plant. “Why?” Zelensky continued. “We ran out of all missiles.”

His comments follow a move by House Speaker Mike Johnson to put Ukrainian aid before Congress this week following months of impasse amid opposition from some conservative lawmakers. The aid for Ukraine is one of four bills proposed. The others back support for Taiwan, U.S. national security priorities and aid for Israel in the wake of Iran’s drone and missile strikes.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Vilnius, Lithuania, on April 11. He told “PBS NewsHour” that further U.S. aid was crucial to Ukraine.

PETRAS MALUKAS/Getty Images

Referencing Iran’s recent attack on Israel, Zelensky said, “Israel was not defending by itself.” He added that such help from the U.S. and its allies to protect Israel should be extended to Ukraine.

International cooperation to defend Israel against Iranian attacks undermined the argument by those opposing more aid for Ukraine that it would be seen as Kyiv engaging NATO in the war. Zelensky said, “Is Israel part of NATO or not?”

When asked what might happen if Congress did not provide further aid, Zelensky replied, “I can tell you, frankly, without this support, we will have no chance of winning.”

“Today, our artillery shell ratio is 1-10. Can we hold our ground? No. In any case, with these statistics, they will be pushing us back every day,” he added.

“What’s going to happen in the U.S. Congress? They might make a decision,” Zelensky continued. “And I hope they are listening to us and will make a decision in the nearest days or weeks, but not longer, to make a positive decision.”

Zelensky’s plea comes amid significant Russian gains along eastern Ukraine and urgent calls for American assistance from humanitarian groups.

Jed Meline, the director of policy and advocacy at Project Hope, said Tuesday that attacks on Ukrainian civilians were on the rise—with 604 civilian casualties, including 57 children, in March alone.

Meline said that so far this year, the eastern Kharkiv region had been under severe and constant Russian bombardment, with 15 civilians killed and another 48 injured in the city in April.

“As our Congress continues kicking the can down the road,

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