Day 783: Ukraine needs U.S. aid to win the war, Zelenskyi says

Ukraine ran out of missiles to thwart a Russian strike on the Trypillya thermal power plant, Zelenskyi says. There is no chance of winning with a one-to-10 artillery shell ratio, one-to-30 aircraft ratio, Zelenskyi says. France invites Russia to a D-Day ceremony. China seeks a peace conference to end war, wants both Russia and Ukraine to participate in it.

Ukraine ran out of missiles to thwart Russian strike on Trypillya power plant, Zelenskyi says

A lack of air defense missiles prevented Ukraine from thwarting a Russian missile attack last week that destroyed the Trypillya thermal power plant, President Zelenskyi told PBS NewsHour in an interview that aired Monday.

“I will give you one example, a very simple example, the Trypilska power plant. Electricity in the Kyiv region depends on it. Eleven missiles were headed towards it. The first seven, we took down. Four destroyed Trypilska. Why? Because we had zero missiles. We ran out of all missiles,” Zelenskyi said.

He also criticized as groundless the fears of NATO being drawn into direct conflict with Russia if the Alliance steps up its support to Ukraine. He also cited the example of Israel, not a NATO member either. 

“After yesterday’s attack, I want to ask you a question, is Israel part of NATO or not? Here is the answer. Israel is not a NATO country. The NATO allies, including NATO countries, have been defending Israel. They showed the Iranian forces that Israel was not alone. And this is a lesson. This is a response to anyone on any continent who says you need to assist Ukraine very carefully so you don’t engage NATO countries in the war,” Zelenskyi said.

A Russian missile strike on April 11 completely destroyed the Trypillya thermal power plant in Kyiv region. Centerenergo, the state-run energy company that owns the facility said that with the plant out of service, it had lost 100 per cent of its power generation.

Zelenskyi says no chance of winning with one-to-10 artillery shell ratio, one-to-30 aircraft ratio

Ukraine does not have enough weapons to withstand Russia’s assault. Russia, enjoying such an advantage, will be pushing back Ukrainian troops “every day,” President Zelenskyi told PBS NewsHour in an interview that aired Monday.

“I can tell you, frankly, without this [allies’] support, we will have no chance of winning. You need to be much stronger than your enemy. 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.”

“But how can you have aircrafts 1-30, artillery 1-10? How can you wage a war against Russia like this? We’re not asking for missiles for 2,000 or 3,000 kilometers, nothing like that. And nobody is asking for 500 aircraft or 300, like Russia. In fact, Russia is using 300 aircraft just in the territory of Ukraine,” Zelenskyi said.

To defend the territory it controls, Ukraine would need “to go from one to comparing numbers, 10-10,” he added.

“How can we destroy those [weapons]? The plan is very simple. It’s very clear. It exists. There is a specific weapon that we need to advance. There’s a specific weapon to defend the skies. This plan exists. Besides, all the partners have it in their hands. This is the plan for what we really need,” Zelenskyi said.

When asked whether he thinks it would be easier to aid through the U.S. Congress next year, Zelenskyi said: “We don’t think it will be easier for us. We’re fighting. We’re not thinking about next year. We’re thinking about tomorrow.”

“Our goals are much more about real life. We need to live tomorrow. What’s going to happen next year? Well, frankly, speaking, nobody knows because we don’t understand what support Ukraine will have. What other explosions and wars might be happening in the world? What’s going to happen in the U.S. Congress? They might make a decision,” the Ukrainian President told PBS.

France invites Russia to D-Day ceremony

French organizers have invited Russian representatives to a ceremony in recognition of the 80th anniversary of the World War II D-Day landings in Normandy that opened a second front in the European theater. The Soviet Union did not directly take part in the D-Day landings.

An invitation will be sent out to Russia’s diplomatic mission in France, according to French Europe-1 radio. “In view of the circumstances, President Putin will not be invited to take part in the commemorations of the Normandy landings,” the Normandy event organizers said. 

China seeks peace conference to end war, wants both Russia, Ukraine to participate

Following a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said he supports holding of a peace summit to settle the “Ukraine crisis”, but both Russia and Ukraine need to participate in it.

China has been referring to Russia’s war in Ukraine as “crisis.”

“China encourages and supports all efforts that are conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis, and supports the holding in due course of an international peace conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine and ensures the equal participation of all parties and fair discussions on all peace plans.”

“China will maintain close communication with all parties concerned, including Germany, on this matter,” Xi said, as quoted by Chinese state media.

A statement distributed by Chinese media also said: “The two leaders also had an in-depth exchange of views on the Ukraine crisis, noting that both China and Germany stand committed to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, oppose the use of nuclear weapons or attack on peaceful nuclear facilities, and call for efforts to properly address the issue of global food security and observe the international humanitarian law.”