Zelenskyy pleads for longer-range weapons as Russia “hunts” Ukrainians

The Ukrainian leader expressed frustration that despite months of appeals, the U.S. has only just granted permission for American-made weapons to target Russia itself, specifically in defense of Kharkiv.

In an interview with The Guardian, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued an impassioned plea for the U.S. and its allies to provide longer-range weapons capable of striking deep inside Russian territory. Zelenskyy accused the West, particularly the Biden administration, of delaying crucial sanctions that would allow such strikes, leaving Russia’s forces able to “hunt” Ukrainian citizens with impunity.

The Ukrainian leader expressed frustration that despite months of appeals, the U.S. has only just granted permission for American-made weapons to target Russia itself, specifically in defence of Kharkiv. However, this falls far short of Zelenskyy’s demands for access to “powerful” long-range missiles that could strike command centres and supply lines deeper in Russia.

Zelenskyy argued that the threat of nuclear escalation, which has made Western leaders wary of provoking Russia, should no longer factor into strategic calculations. The Ukrainian president called on President Biden and America to place greater trust in his nation’s abilities.

Zelenskyy also hinted that a lack of permission from the U.S. could hamstring other allies like the U.K. from allowing their long-range weapons to be used for strikes inside Russia. As the devastated cities across Ukraine attest, Zelenskyy appears determined to take the fight to Russia itself if granted the military means to do so.

With no diplomatic solution in sight, the world watches whether Western leaders will eventually bend to Zelenskyy’s demands as his nation struggles to repel the Russian invasion.