Zelensky warns Ukraine forces put through HELL by Russia as he issues urgent weapons plea

Ukraine needs ‘weapons, money and sanctions’ says Rudik

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Despite US supplies of rocket artillery, Ukrainian troops have not yet been able to overcome Russian advantages in heavy guns and manpower, President Zelensky said in his late-night address.

On day 160 of the war, the leader said “words cannot describe” the suffering Russia’s invasion is bringing to his country.

Kyiv continues to be outnumbered in arms volumes, he stressed, adding: “This is very much felt in combat, especially in the Donbas.

“It is just hell there.”

His remarks came only a day after the White House announced it would send another $550 million in arms to Ukraine to help it fend off Russia, increasing the total American investment in the conflict there to more than $8 billion since the start of the full-scale aggressions in late February.

But on Tuesday, Washington’s role in the war in Ukraine was put under scrutiny after Moscow accused the US of supplying targeting information used by Kyiv to conduct long-range missile strikes.

It is feared Russia’s claim could impact the White House’s aid capabilities.

Russia’s defence ministry said Washington was “directly involved” in the war and had passed on intelligence that had led to the “mass deaths of civilians”.

The US was responsible for rocket attacks by Kyiv on populated areas in the eastern Donbas and in other regions, the ministry said in a statement.

It added: “All this undeniably proves that Washington, contrary to White House and Pentagon claims, is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine.”

While the US has proudly provided security assistance to Ukraine, it strongly denies it is a participant in the conflict or is at war with Russia.

The Kremlin’s comments came after an interview given to the Telegraph on Monday by Vadym Skibitsky, Ukraine’s acting deputy head of military intelligence.

Mr Skibitsky said the US-made long-range HIMARS — Washington has given Ukraine 16 of them so far — had been extremely effective in wiping out Russian fuel and ammunition dumps, and that excellent satellite imagery and real-time information had also helped.

Though he denied US officials were providing direct targeting information, he acknowledged there was consultation between US and Ukrainian intelligence officials before strikes, so Washington could vet and if necessary veto intended targets.

Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, told the RIA Novosti news agency: “No other confirmation of the direct involvement of the United States in the hostilities on the territory of Ukraine is required.

“The supply of weapons is accompanied not only by instructions on its use but in this case they perform the function of gunners in their purest form.”

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Relations between Russia and the West had not been as fragile since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when fears of nuclear war were at their peak.

Meanwhile, Mr Zelensky appears eager to strengthen Ukraine’s friendship with the US, EU, NATO and their allies by addressing an issue that is widely viewed as a black mark on the war-torn nation.

The president on Tuesday said he had asked his office to look into whether same-sex marriages should be legalised.

Kyiv has increased support for LGBTQ+ rights since Western-backed leadership came to power in 2014 but more work is to be done if it is to align with its Western partners’ values.

Last month, a petition in Ukraine calling for change gained enough signatures for Mr Zelensky to consider the proposal.

While he said there would be no move as long as the conflict with Russia continued because during wartime no changes could be made, Mr Zelensky said in an official decree: “I asked Prime Minister (Denys) Shmyhal to address the issue raised in the electronic petition and to inform me of relevant decisions.”

Parliament passed legislation in 2015 to ban discrimination in the workplace, but it does not allow for same-sex marriage.

According to a survey by the sociological group Rating published in August 2021, 47 percent of Ukrainian respondents had a negative view of the LGBTQ+ community.

As Ukraine marches toward EU membership, it is expected to ramp up its efforts to modernise on the matter.

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