President Zelenskyy calls for specific weaponry from US, NATO allies

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released a new video Wednesday morning outlining the specific weaponry he needs for his country to continue its defense against Russian invaders. 

“Ukraine needs weapons supplies. We need heavy artillery, armored vehicles, air defense systems and combat aircrafts,” Zelenskyy said. “Anything to repel Russian forces and stop their war crimes.” 

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Specifically, the leader requested 155-millimeter artillery; 152-milimeter artillery shells; multiple launch rocket systems, including “Grad,” “Smerch,” “Tornada” or M142 HIMARS; armored personnel carriers; infantry fighting vehicles; T-72 or similar tanks from the U.S or Germany; S-300, BUK or western equivalent air defense systems; and military aircrafts. 

These weapons would be used to “deadlock” Ukrainian cities and “millions of Europeans.” 

“Freedom must be armed better than tyranny,” Zelenskyy said. “Western countries have everything to make it happen.”

The leader said victory over tyranny and the number of those saved depends on the West. 

“Army Ukraine now to defend freedom,” he concludes, urging social media users to share the hashtag #ArmUkraineNow at the end of the video. 

Zelenskyy warned that although Ukraine has “destroyed more Russian weapons and military equipment than some armies in Europe currently possess,” the Russian military still has the capacity to attack in Ukraine and surrounding countries like Poland, Moldova, Romania and the Baltic states. 

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He said those areas could become the next targets “if the freedom of Ukraine falls.” 

The release of this call to action comes as the presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia traveled to Kyiv Wednesday to meet with Zelenskyy. 

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said the countries planned to deliver “a strong message of political support and military assistance.”

A senior U.S. defense official told The Associated Press the Biden administration was preparing an additional package of military aid for Ukraine to be announced, possibly totaling $750 million.

In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office and posted on Facebook March 15, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine.

In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office and posted on Facebook March 15, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine.
(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

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“We are working around the clock to provide Ukraine with additional capabilities they have requested and need to defend their country,” an administration official told Fox News Wednesday. 

“We’ve provided Ukraine with thousands of American-made weapons and capabilities like drones, anti-tank and anti-air systems, and deliveries are happening every day,” the official noted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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