Zelenskyy renews plea for no-fly zone over Ukraine as Russian rockets destroy civilian airport | world news

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday called for the imposition of a no-fly zone over his country while alerting the world to the destruction of a civilian airport by eight Russian rockets. Taking to Twitter, Zelenskyy, dressed in his usual khaki t-shirt, said Russia was pursuing “the total destruction of our infrastructure”.

In a video message posted on the microblogging site, Zelenskyy called for closing Ukrainian skies to Russian missiles and warplanes. “We rehearse every day. Close sky over Ukraine. Shut it down for all Russian missiles… fighter jets, for all those terrorists,” he said.

Full coverage of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict here

Pushing for a “humanitarian air zone”, the Ukrainian president, a former comedian, further said that they are “all peoples” and that it is the “humanitarian duty” of countries to “protect” them.

“If you don’t… at least don’t give us planes so that we can protect ourselves, there can only be one conclusion: you also want us to be killed slowly,” Zelenskyy said in the video.

He added that it is also the “responsibility” of all world leaders “today and forever”.

Ukraine’s parliament also shared a series of video tweets from the destroyed Vinnytsia airport showing fires and thick smoke covering the sky. In one of the posts, he tagged French President Emmanuel Macros, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen, US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, among others. with the caption “SHUT THE SKY OVER UKRAINE!”

According to CNN, Zelenskyy said NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Alliance) countries have created a narrative that closing Ukrainian skies would trigger direct Russian action against them. “It’s the self-hypnosis of those who are weak, insecure, despite having weapons many times more powerful than us,” he told CNN.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday warned against a third-party declaration of a no-fly zone over Ukraine, saying it would be “participation in armed conflict”.

Read also | In a call with Macron, Putin says he has no intention of attacking Ukrainian nuclear power plants

US and Western allies have supplied Ukraine with weapons to fight Russian forces, but have yet to send troops to the battlefield. Last Sunday, European Council President Charles Michel said that imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine would trigger a world war.

(With AP inputs)

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