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Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky slams Joe Biden and insists green light to bomb Russia with US weapons doesn’t go far enough in rare rebuke

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Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has criticised US president Joe Biden in a rare rebuke, claiming that the US’ decision to allow Ukraine to attack Russia with American weapons doesn’t go far enough. 

While Zelensky, speaking at Asia‘s top security summit in Singapore, thanked Biden for allowing Ukraine to strike limited Russian territory with US arms, he said restrictions need to be dropped. 

The US last week gave Ukraine permission to use American missiles to fire in to Kharkiv, where Russian troops have been building up in numbers. But this is the only area they are allowed to fire into, and Ukraine is only allowed to fire certain weapons. 

Zelensky said: ‘Is that sufficient? No. Why? Because I have given you the example of airfields from which Russia is permanently firing, in calm, knowing that Ukraine will not fire back because it has no corresponding systems and no permissions.’

He said that Russia has the advantage with the restrictions put on Ukraine, as its armies can carry on using artillery and long-range weapons to hit civilian infrastructure. 

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky (pictured) has criticised US president Joe Biden in a rare rebuke

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky (pictured) has criticised US president Joe Biden in a rare rebuke

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky gets off his plane as he arrives to attend Shangri-La Dialogue Summit in Singapore

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky gets off his plane as he arrives to attend Shangri-La Dialogue Summit in Singapore

While Zelensky thanked Joe Biden (pictured) for allowing Ukraine to strike limited Russian territory with US arms, he said restrictions need to be dropped

While Zelensky thanked Joe Biden (pictured) for allowing Ukraine to strike limited Russian territory with US arms, he said restrictions need to be dropped

‘They have these weapons there and they do not remove them because they know that Ukraine cannot target them with Western weaponry even if they fire against us,’ he said. 

Ukraine imposed emergency power shutdowns in most of the country on Sunday, a day after Russia unleashed large-scale attacks on energy infrastructure and claimed it made gains in the eastern Donetsk province.

The shutdowns were in place in all but three regions of Ukraine following Saturday’s drone and missile attack on energy targets that injured at least 19 people.

Ukraine’s state-owned power grid operator Ukrenergo said the shutdowns affected both industrial and household consumers.

Sustained Russian attacks on Ukraine’s power grid in recent weeks have forced the government to institute nationwide rolling blackouts. Without adequate air defenses to counter assaults and allow for repairs, though, the shortages could still worsen as need spikes in late summer and the bitter-cold winter.

Among the most significant recent strikes were an April barrage that damaged Kyiv’s largest thermal power plant and a massive attack on May 8 that targeted power generation and transmission facilities in several regions.

A view of damaged residential area after Russian attack with S-300 missiles hit Kharkiv, Ukraine on May 31, 2024

A view of damaged residential area after Russian attack with S-300 missiles hit Kharkiv, Ukraine on May 31, 2024

Damaged car lies amid rubble after Russian missile attack on May 31, 2024 in Kharkiv, Ukraine

Damaged car lies amid rubble after Russian missile attack on May 31, 2024 in Kharkiv, Ukraine

Medics bandage the head of a wounded man after Russian shelling on May 31, 2024 in Kharkiv

Medics bandage the head of a wounded man after Russian shelling on May 31, 2024 in Kharkiv

Following Saturday’s barrage, Ukraine’s air force said Sunday that air defenses had shot down all 25 drones launched overnight.

Russia claimed Sunday that it had taken control of the village of Umanske in the partially Russian-occupied Donetsk region.

Russia’s coordinated new offensive has centered on Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, but seems to include testing Ukrainian defenses in Donetsk farther south, while also launching incursions in the northern Sumy and Chernihiv regions.

In Russia, six people were injured in shelling in the city of Shebekino in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, regional Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said Sunday. He also said that a local official, the deputy head of the Korochansky district, had been killed by “detonation of ammunition.” He gave no details.

In the neighboring Kursk region, three people were injured Sunday when an explosive device was dropped from a drone, according to acting regional head Alexey Smirnov.



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