Day 463: Zelenskyi calls for coalition of Patriot systems, F-16 fighters at European summit in Moldova

Russia launches Iskander ballistic missiles on Kyiv again. Zelenskyi calls for a coalition of Patriot systems, F-16 fighters at the European Political Community summit in Moldova.

Russia launches Iskander ballistic missiles on Kyiv again

Overnight on June 1, Russia launched another barrage of Iskander ground-based missiles on Kyiv. “[Russian forces] launched a total of 10 Iskander ballistic and cruise missiles from Bryansk region in Russia,” the Ukrainian Air Force Command said in a statement. Ukraine’s air defenses “intercepted all 10 missiles, including seven Iskander-M ballistic missiles and three Iskander-K cruise missiles,” it said.

Falling missile fragments left three people dead, including a nine-year-old girl, and 11 others wounded. Apartment buildings, non-residential buildings, cars and a medical facility were damaged. 

People were killed as they waited to enter a locked shelter in Desnyanskyi district of the capital. Officials ordered an investigation into what happened.

There was only about six minutes’ warning before the missiles struck. Russia uses Iskander tactical missile systems stationed in Bryansk region, just 300 kilometers away from the capital, to conduct strikes on Kyiv, leaving minutes to react, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force Command Colonel Yuriy Ihnat said on television.

“If missiles are fired from the Caspian Sea or the Black Sea, there is about an hour to react and get to a shelter. In this case, there are only a few minutes. The enemy wants to catch [the air defense] off guard,” Ihnat explained.   

Kyiv has been under constant night-time drone and missile attacks since early May.

Zelenskyi calls for coalition of Patriot systems, F-16 fighters at European summit in Moldova

At the European Political Community summit in Moldova on Thursday, June 1, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi made a series of statements on security-related matters. 

Coalition of Patriot systems. Thanks to the support of allies, Ukraine’s air defenses are capable of intercepting Russian missiles of all types. Still, Kyiv needs more Patriot systems until F-16 fighter jets are delivered to Ukraine, Zelenskyi told journalists at the summit. “Why the Patriots? Because they are able to shoot down any type of Russian rockets,” the President said.  

In his address to the summit, President Zelenskyi said: “There are two decisive components now: a coalition of ‘Patriots’ that will put an end to Russian blackmail by ballistic missiles, and a coalition of modern fighter jets that will prove that terror against our cities has no chance.” If created fast, the coalitions will literally accelerate peace, he added.

Fighter jet coalition. On the margins of the summit, Zelenskyi held an informal meeting with European leaders who had vowed support for a coalition to supply fighter jets to Ukraine.

After upcoming consultations with the U.S., they agreed they will continue work to officially establish the coalition (Ukraine’s Sky Shield) at the next meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, Zelenskyi’s office said.

In a joint statement issued Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyi “confirmed the readiness to develop the framework to start the training of Ukrainian combat aircraft pilots when appropriate for the Ukrainian Air Force,” a move pre-agreed at the latest Ramstein meeting.

NATO membership, security guarantees. Ukraine needs to have its security backed by guarantees until it joins NATO, the Ukrainian President told a news conference at the summit. “NATO membership is the best security guarantee,” Zelenskyi said when asked whether security guarantees outside NATO were acceptable. “We would like to have NATO guarantees. Until we are in NATO, we want to have security guarantees and a clear signal that they will stay until Ukraine joins NATO,” he added.  

Ukraine’s security situation to affect Moldova. Moldova will get back its territory known as Transnistria after Ukraine wins the war with Russia, President Zelenskyi told a news conference at the European Political Community summit.

“We all need a unified Moldovan society and a unified Moldova. Our wish for you is peace achieved without bombs, artillery, and deaths on your territory. (…) I am convinced that after we win — and I am confident we will win — you will also have a unified country, without missiles and without Russia,” Zelenskyi said when asked if Ukraine is ready to help Moldova solve the “problem of Transnistria”.

What’s behind China’s peacekeeping mission? Ukraine in Flames #448 

The Chinese government has been making visible efforts to portray themselves as peacekeepers. However, despite these actions potentially signaling a departure from their traditionally “neutral” stance, there is little justification to place trust in China and expect their mediating attempts to effectively resolve the ongoing war. Beijing fails to address russia’s actions on Ukrainian territory or provide a clear explanation of how the negotiation process can contribute to ending the war and restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Watch Ukraine in flames #448 to find out about what is behind China’s peacekeeping mission that would allow russia to freeze its territorial gains in Ukraine and protract the war even more.


  • Viktor Konstantynov, Associate Professor of the Institute of International Relations of Shevchenko National University 
  • Volodymyr Ohryzko, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2007-2009)
  • Natalia Plaksienko-Butyrska, Expert on East Asia, Master of Foreign Policy
  • Oleksandr Merezhko, People’s Deputy of Ukraine, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation