Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the supply of long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, “vital” in his nightly address Saturday.
“We will do everything we can to ensure that partners open up this vital supply, in particular, of ATACMS and other similar weapons,” Zelensky said. “Because it is necessary to protect life; protection of such cities as Kostyantynivka or, for example, Kharkiv.”
The surface-to-surface missiles can fly around 200 miles, about four times the distance of the rockets used by the HIMARS mobile systems the US began sending to Ukraine four months ago.
Zelensky said an attack on the city of Kostyantynivka in the Donetsk region earlier Saturday left three people dead and 14 others wounded. He called the shelling “a daily occurrence” on Ukraine’s territories and said, “there can be no taboos in the supply of weapons to protect against Russian terror.”
The US has refused to send ATACMS to Ukraine out of concern they could be used to attack targets inside Russia.
New sanctions: Zelensky also mentioned that he put into effect new sanctions on “185 legal entities and individuals that Russia uses to transport personnel and military equipment by railroad.”
“Their assets in Ukraine are blocked, and their existing property will be used for our defense. We will work to ensure that a similar blocking is applied by other countries,” Zelensky said.
Pressure on Olympic Committee: The Ukrainian president wrote a letter to the presidents of the International Sports Federations with a call to reconsider the decision of the International Olympic Committee to allow the return of Russian athletes at international competitions.
Once “Russian athletes appear at international competitions, it is only a matter of time before they start justifying Russia’s aggression and using the symbols of terror,” Zelensky argued.
He called the International Olympic Committee decision “an unprincipled flexibility.”