UKRAINE, May 24 — Russian attacks occur, “destroying our cities and villages, ruining lives, burning books and everything that preserves humanity,” because Ukraine still has restrictions in its defense, said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his evening address on May 23. 

Zelenskyy was commenting on Russian attacks in Kharkiv, Liubotyn, and Derhachi on May 23. A massive Russian missile strike on Kharkiv’s two districts killed at least seven and injured 21 people, destroying one of Ukraine’s largest printing houses. In Liubotyn, their missiles damaged transport infrastructure. A gliding bomb attack in Dehachi injured at least 13 people. 

“We must openly say why this [the Russian attacks — ed.] is still possible. It is only because Ukraine still has restrictions in its defense. This is a shortage of air defense systems that are actually available in the world. This is the lack of long-range capabilities for our warriors and the complete inability to destroy the very source of Russian terror near our borders, including the missile launchers that actually hit Ukraine and the lives of our people,” the President said. 

Russian attacks on Kharkiv and towns and villages close to the border intensified since Russians began their new ground offensive in the region on May 10. 

“We need more efforts, more determination – the determination of the world’s leaders – to make Russian terror finally lose,” Zelenskyy said.

Institute for the Study of War (ISW) ‘s George Barros wrote in a report published on May 13, “Current US policy prohibiting Ukraine from using US-provided weapons in the territory of the Russian Federation is severely compromising Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against the renewed cross-border invasion Russia has recently launched in Kharkiv Oblast.”

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