Zelensky chief of staff calls for massive supply of arms to Ukraine

Ukraine's presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak speaks at a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 12, 2020. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
Ukraine's presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak speaks at a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 12, 2020. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff is calling on the West to create a new lend-lease program for Ukraine, referring to the World War II effort that sent US supplies to the Soviet Union to help it fight Nazi Germany.

“We need a full lend lease,” Andriy Yermak said in an address late Friday. “Today Ukraine is the holy grail of Europe, and without exaggeration, Ukraine is reviving those principles that gave life to current Western civilization.”

He said what Ukraine needs most is real-time intelligence and heavy weapons.

Yermak also repeats the Ukrainian president’s calls for help in closing the skies over Ukraine to stop Russian bombing and missile attacks. The West has refused to impose a no-fly zone for fear of widening the war.

He said options include supplying Ukraine with air defense systems or fighter jets, or creating an “air police force to protect civilian infrastructure.”

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