Ukraine needs more support as Russia winning ‘war in the air’

Poland: Missile strikes 'strengthen Zelensky's hand' says White

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Russia is “winning in the air” in Ukraine, according to a former US Navy admiral. His comments come after Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to the West for more air defence systems.

Reports from Ukraine have in recent months particularly focussed on Russia’s setbacks on the battlefield.

Vladimir Putin in September mobilised 300,000 reservists in Ukraine, the first time Moscow launched a mobilisation process since the Second World War.

Claims have also emerged, including from UK Ministry of Defence intelligence officials, that prisoners – even some with serious diseases – are being sent to fight on the ground.

But a different story can be told about the ongoing progress in the air, a former US Military official has suggested.

Retired Admiral James Stavridis, now the Vice Chair of the Carlyle Group, said Ukraine needs more support in the way of air defence if it is to continue with its recent successes in the conflict against Russia.

He wrote in a post on Twitter: “Ukraine is a tale of two wars. One on the ground, one in the air.

“The Ukrainians are winning on the ground, but Russians are winning in the air and destroying Ukraine’s electric grid.

“We need to increase air defence to help win the second war.”

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The former general added that “doing that will break the Russian war effort”.

Of particular concern for Kyiv regarding Russia’s position in the air is the vulnerability of its own power supply.

Recent airstrikes have resulted in Ukraine’s power grid – already battered – receiving heavy damage.

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Just days after Ukraine re-took Kherson, which for a time had been occupied by Russian forces, civilians were being told to leave the area due to the lack of power.

After receiving fresh air defence support from Germany, Mr Zelensky late last month said: “We must do everything to make it impossible for Russia to destroy our energy system with missiles and drones.”

He added that such support helps to defend not just Ukrainian airspace but also “protects European stability by limiting Russian terror, which affects our country as well as your countries in the future”.

Kyiv’s calls for a ‘no fly zone’ over Ukraine were, however, quickly dismissed at the beginning of the war as Western leaders warned this would act as further escalation at a time when tensions need most to be tempered.

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