Ukraine urges US Congress to approve military aid as Germany vows to send air defence system

‘The sound of Shahed drones is the same in skies over Middle East and Europe,’ Zelenskiy says in condemnation of Iranian attack on Israel

Ukraine urged the US Congress to approve provision of long-delayed military aid after Germany pledged to send another Patriot air defence system to the embattled country and its top general said his troops were under mounting pressure in the east.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy condemned Iran’s massive air attack on Israel on Sunday, and said his compatriots “know very well the horror of similar attacks by Russia, which uses the same Shahed drones and Russian missiles”.

“The sound of Shahed drones, a tool of terror, is the same in the skies over the Middle East and Europe. This sound must serve as a wake-up call to the free world . . . The world cannot wait for discussions to go on. Words do not stop drones and do not intercept missiles. Only tangible assistance does,” he added.

“It is critical that the United States Congress make the necessary decisions to strengthen America’s allies at this critical time.”


Republican congressmen loyal to former US president Donald Trump have for months blocked a White House request for $60 billion (€56 billion) in new military aid for Kyiv, even as Russia has destroyed much of Ukraine’s energy grid, pounded cities such as Kharkiv, and continued a creeping advance in the eastern Donetsk region.

Russia has launched hundreds of Iranian-supplied Shahed explosive drones at Ukrainian cities and infrastructure during 26 months of all-out war, and Mr Zelenskiy said that “the obvious collaboration between the two regimes in spreading terror must face a resolute and united response from the world”.

Ukraine is frustrated by the refusal of allies to supply more arms, even as they publicly profess to be ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that Russia’s invasion fails.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Saturday that his country was providing Kyiv with another US-built Patriot air defence system, which has shot down even Russia’s most advanced ballistic missiles over Ukraine.

“Russian terror against Ukrainian cities and the country’s infrastructure is causing immeasurable suffering,” said German defence minister Boris Pistorius. “It is jeopardising people’s energy supply and destroying the operational readiness of the Ukrainian armed forces.”

Mr Zelenskiy thanked Mr Scholz and said Ukraine also hoped to secure another advanced Iris-T air defence system and more missiles from Germany.

Moscow urged restraint after Iran’s missile and drone barrage against Israel but rejected Israeli calls to condemn the attack.

“Remind me when Israel condemned even one strike by the Kyiv regime on Russian regions,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on social media. “Don’t remember? Me neither. But I remember regular statements in support of Zelenskiy’s actions from Israeli officials.”

Russian forces have continued to creep forward in eastern Ukraine since seizing the town of Avdiivka in February.

“The situation on the eastern front has worsened significantly in recent days,” said Oleksandr Syrskyi, Ukraine’s top general. He reported a “significant intensification” of attacks by Russian forces which he said had been ordered to capture the eastern town of Chasiv Yar by May 9th, when Russia marks the end of the second World War.

Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin is a contributor to The Irish Times from central and eastern Europe