DUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has shown himself open to offering future US weapons aid on credit. “We will accept any option,” Zelensky said in an interview broadcast on Ukrainian television on Saturday. With arms aid worth the equivalent of 40 billion euros, the USA is Ukraine's most important military ally in its defense against Russia's war of aggression. However, further arms aid is currently on hold due to a domestic political dispute between Democrats and Republicans in the US Parliament. As a result, Ukraine has fallen behind on the battlefield and is losing ground against the Russian occupying forces.

According to Zelensky, there is no choice for Ukraine: it must accept every offer in order to win and survive. If he had to decide whether he would get the package on credit now or for free in a year, he would immediately take it on credit, said the Ukrainian head of state.

The idea of ​​providing Ukraine with the weapons on credit came from former US President Donald Trump, who is aiming to return to the White House in November. His party, the Republicans, has been blocking the release of an arms package worth $60 billion to Ukraine for months.

Zelensky on anti-aircraft defense and protection of Kharkiv

The Ukrainian president also commented on other explosive topics in the interview. In his view, the country needs two dozen Patriot air defense systems to protect its own airspace against Russian missile and drone attacks. In order to seal off the airspace, 25 systems, each with 6 to 8 batteries, are needed, said Zelensky. “All of our partners know this very well, they even know the points where the corresponding systems should be placed.” According to him, Patriots and analogous Western air defense systems – including the German Iris-T – have proven themselves excellently. He also warned of a deficit in anti-aircraft ammunition if Russia continued its air strikes at the same rate.

However, Zelensky ruled out a conquest of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv by Russian troops. “Kharkiv is protected today,” the president said. He acknowledged that the city remains vulnerable to air strikes, but he was completely confident about the area's defense on the ground. According to him, the fortifications built by Ukraine are largely finished not only in Kharkiv, but also in large parts of the front and border areas.

Dead and injured civilians on both sides in Donetsk region

According to official reports, at least five civilians have been killed by Russian artillery fire in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donetsk region. The responsible public prosecutor's office said there was a minor among the victims in the Pokrovsk district. Two people were also injured. Residential buildings in several towns were hit. Pokrovsk County is located just a few kilometers from the front, west of Donetsk.

On the other hand, the authorities in the regional capital Donetsk, which is occupied by Russian troops, reported eleven injured by Ukrainian shelling. Two children were among the injured, wrote the head of the Russian-annexed Donetsk region, Denis Pushilin, on his Telegram channel on Saturday. Nine residential buildings in different parts of the city were damaged. According to Pushilin, in addition to the city of Donetsk, the cities of Makiivka and Horlivka, which are also controlled by the Russian military, were also attacked.