Germany’s top diplomat urges Ukraine to strengthen air defenses

Firefighters put out a fire in a private house after a Russian drone attack in the suburbs of Kharkiv, on May 21, 2024, amid the Russian invasion in Ukraine. (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK / AFP)

As she landed in Kyiv on Tuesday, Germany’s top diplomat emphasized the urgent need for Ukraine to enhance its air defenses in response to continuous Russian assaults.

Annalena Baerbock, the Foreign Minister, expressed deep concern over the deteriorating situation in Ukraine, highlighting the severe Russian aerial bombardments on civilian infrastructure and the aggressive Russian movements in the Kharkiv region.

Baerbock, making her eighth trip to the country since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, stressed the critical necessity for bolstering Ukraine’s air defenses to counter the onslaught of Russian drones and missiles.

She conveyed Germany’s unwavering support, stating her firm belief that Ukraine would emerge victorious in the conflict.

Despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expectations of Ukraine and its allies running out of resources, Baerbock asserted that Ukraine possesses the resilience to endure. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky previously cautioned about a potential escalation of Russian forces in Kharkiv, indicating that the recent ground offensive might be just the beginning.

Zelensky has persistently appealed for additional air defense systems from Ukraine’s allies, specifically emphasizing the urgent requirement for at least seven more systems, including two for safeguarding the Kharkiv region.