Ukraine urges world to respond to latest ‘Russia aggression’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on the international community to respond to Russia's latest aerial assault on Ukraine — the biggest since the start of Russia's invasion in February 2022.

“It is important that the world responds to this latest act of terror. Many leaders have already expressed their support for Ukraine and Ukrainians today, and I am grateful to everyone,” Zelensky said in his daily address, thanking those who helped in boosting his country’s air defenses.

Ukraine on Friday called for an urgent United Nations Security Council meeting.

Zelensky added that he will continue to “strengthen our air defense” and vowed to keep working to “bring the war” back to Russia.

The Ukrainian president also thanked emergency services and staff who assisted in rescue operations following the aerial attacks in many parts of the country Friday.

The attacks left at least 31 people dead and over 150 injured, damaging civilian infrastructure.

“More than 100 private houses were destroyed or damaged, (as well as) 45 high-rise buildings, schools, two churches, hospitals, a maternity hospital, many commercial and warehouse premises,” Zelensky continued, offering his condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

US President Joe Biden has also stated Russia’s latest aerial assault on Ukraine serves as a reminder of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions in the country.

“It is a stark reminder to the world that, after nearly two years of this devastating war, Putin’s objective remains unchanged. He seeks to obliterate Ukraine and subjugate its people. He must be stopped,” Biden said in a statement Friday.

He used the opportunity to call again on Congress to pass additional assistance to Ukraine, stressing US-provided defense systems had intercepted many of the Russian drones and missiles launched Friday.

“The American people can be proud of the lives we have helped to save and the support we have given Ukraine as it defends its people, its freedom, and its independence,” he wrote, adding, “But unless Congress takes urgent action in the new year, we will not be able to continue sending the weapons and vital air defense systems Ukraine needs to protect its people.”

Biden has requested nearly $60 billion in new assistance for Ukraine, but the funding has stalled amid negotiations over toughening US immigration rules.

Lawmakers left Washington without agreement on the new funding.

Biden sought in his statement to underscore the global ramifications of Ukraine’s fight: “The stakes of this fight extend far beyond Ukraine,” he wrote.

“They affect the entirety of the NATO Alliance, the security of Europe, and the future of the Transatlantic relationship.”

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