Zelensky: Russia won’t occupy Kharkiv if Ukraine gets two Patriot systems

Zelensky: Russia won’t occupy Kharkiv if Ukraine gets two Patriot systems

President of Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine says several additional Patriot air defense systems are needed to protect Kharkiv from Russian attacks.

He said this in an interview with the ABC News, whose crew accompanied the Ukrainian head of state during a visit to one of the hospitals in Kharkiv, Ukrinform reports.

“The situation is very serious. We cannot afford to lose Kharkiv. (..). All we need are two Patriot systems. Russia will not be able to occupy Kharkiv if we have those," Zelensky emphasized.

According to the president, over the past few days, hundreds have died or been injured amid the latest Russian offensive north of Kharkiv. Many of those killed in action were locals to the region, so it was important for the President to come to Kharkiv and support Ukrainian troops.

Read also: France to send Ukraine new batch of Aster SAMs

Asked by a journalist whether America is to blame for what is happening in Kharkiv, Zelensky answered: "It’s the world’s fault. They gave the opportunity for Putin to occupy (Ukrainian territory - ed.) But now the world can help."

The head of state emphasized that "we need help now."

The ABC News journalist also noted that many Americans are concerned about how much money is being spent on helping Ukraine, and that during an election year, this will be one of the issues on which American voters will focus.

Read also: Blinken: U.S. allocates additional $2 billion for military support to Ukraine

“That money is not given to Ukraine,” he said. “It’s money spent in American factories, creating American jobs… And we are not just fighting for our freedom. If not Ukraine, it would be another country.”

As Ukrinform reported earlier, President Zelensky said in an evening address on May 15 that the Defense and Security Forces managed to partially stabilize the battlefield in Kharkiv region near the border with Russia.

Read also: Russians continue shelling Kharkiv region: two women killed in Chuhuiv

On May 16, during a Kharkiv visit, Zelensky led a field meeting of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Staff and visited wounded defenders undergoing treatment in a city hospital.

According to the General Staff, Ukraine’s Defense Forces launched a counteroffensive effort near Vovchansk, Kharkiv region.

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