The reported move comes when Russia’s military offensive enters its second month
Ukraine has told the United States it urgently needs 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles a day, CNN reported on Thursday, citing a document presented to U.S. lawmakers.
Western countries have sent weapons and military equipment to Kyiv, but President Volodymyr Zelensky says it is not enough to ward off the Russian attack that began a month ago.
CNN quoted sources as saying that Ukraine is now asking for “hundreds more” missiles than in previous inquiries sent to lawmakers. When Zelensky addressed the leaders of NATO member states via video link on Thursday, Zelensky said he had not received a “clear answer” to the request for “one percent of all your tanks”.
NATO and the United States similarly refused to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, or to supply Kyiv with Soviet-era fighter jets, for fear that it could trigger a direct conflict with Russia. The bloc still reaffirmed its support for Ukraine, while countries such as Britain and Sweden promised to send additional anti-tank weapons. US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that “our weapons are flowing into Ukraine as I speak.”
Reuters reported on Thursday that the White House has begun consultations on the delivery of anti-ship missiles to Ukraine. “There may be some technical challenges in making this happen, but it is something we are consulting with allies and starting to work on,” an official source told Reuters.
The report came on the same day as the Ukrainian General Staff claimed that a Russian landing ship was destroyed in the port of Berdyansk in the Sea of Azov, while two other ships were damaged. Ukrainian officials have previously accused Russian warships of firing on Odessa, a port on the Black Sea. Russia has not commented on any of these statements.
Moscow attacked Ukraine in late February, following a seven-year stalemate over Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Russia’s official recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-mediated protocol had been designed to regulate the status of these regions in the Ukrainian state.
Russia has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO, while Kyiv says the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked, and denies claims that it planned to retake the two republics by force.