Volodymyr Zelenskyy demands US give Ukraine more weapons, F-16s, artillery after approval of $61 billion aid bill

On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued a set of demands, ordering the United States to provide additional military aid to the wartorn country in the form of weaponry. This after the US approved an additional $61 billion taxpayer-funded foreign aid package to be sent to Ukraine earlier this week.

Zelenskyy's first request was for long-range weapons, such as Storm Shadow, SCALP, and ATACMS missiles. He then asked for air shields in the form of Patriot systems, missiles, and F-16s. Additionally, the Ukrainian president demanded the US send more artillery in order to effectively fight back against Russia with adequate weapons.

"First: long-range weapons. No part of the occupied territory of Ukraine should remain safe for the occupier. And I thank every leader whose solutions are already working hard on the front lines: Storm Shadow, SCALP, and ATACMS. The range should be sufficient," he posted.

"Second: air shield. This year, Russian jets have already used more than 9,000 guided aerial bombs against Ukraine. We need the ability to shoot down their combat aircraft so that they do not approach our positions and borders. It is possible," he continued."

"Protecting Ukrainian cities from Russian missiles is possible. We urgently need Patriot systems and missiles. They can and should save lives. At least 7 Patriots are necessary for our cities to be safe. Partners have them, and they truly can change the situation for the better."

"The transition to the F-16 should be accelerated. Our counter-terrorism cooperation must be more effective than Russia’s cooperation with the regimes in Iran and North Korea."

"Third: artillery. Many of those present at “Ramstein” were soldiers in the past. And you can imagine what our soldiers feel when they simply have nothing to respond to enemy fire. The one-to-ten ratio of artillery inspires Putin to continue to fight."

A few hours later, the United States announced it would provide Ukraine with Patriot missiles as part of a $6 billion additional aid package for the country.

According to US officials, the aid package will be financed through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which covers longer-term contracts with the defense sector, the LA Times reports.

Additionally, the US will provide Ukraine with artillery, Puma and Switchblade drones, counter-drone systems, and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, making the latest financing the largest tranche of USAI aid provided to Ukraine so far.

The United States has shipped Ukraine more than $44 billion in weapons, maintenance, training, and spare parts since Russia invaded the country in February 2022, and over $113 billion since the war began.

Image: Title: zelensky UN General Assembly speech