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Zelenskyy says Ukraine deserves the same military help Israel received against Iran

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is urging allies to show Ukraine the same support they gave Israel in helping to repel last weekend's aerial attack by Iran. Armed forces of the U.S., Britain, France and Jordan all helped Israel take down some 300 Iranian drones and missiles. Many Ukrainians wish they were getting the same help as the situation on the battlefield against Russian troops gets tougher by the day. NPR's Polina Lytvynova reports from Kyiv.

POLINA LYTVYNOVA, BYLINE: The Ukrainian president said on Telegram he was pleased Israel got help from its allies over the weekend. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the citizens of Ukraine understood perfectly well what Israelis escaped. Russia has targeted their cities and soldiers with the same Iranian drones for much of the war.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY: (Through interpreter) The whole world sees what real defense is. It sees that it is feasible. And the whole world saw that Israel was not alone in this defense. The threat in the sky was also being eliminated by Israel's allies.

LYTVYNOVA: But Zelenskyy also made an appeal as members of the U.S. House of Representatives may be poised this week to vote on a multibillion-dollar aid package for Ukraine. Assistance commanders here say could make a big difference on the battlefield.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ZELENSKYY: (Through interpreter) And the fact that we in Ukraine have been waiting for months for a vital support package that we are still waiting for a vote in Congress shows that the terrorist confidence has been on the rise for months, as well.

LYTVYNOVA: Ordinary Ukrainians would like to feel confident again, too, and they are looking at their allies in the U.S. and Europe for a sign.

IHOR PARKHOMENKO: (Speaking Ukrainian).

LYTVYNOVA: Ihor Parkhomenko asks why other countries get help but not Ukraine. And this former bank teller, Olena Shumska, says Western allies need to step up.

OLENA SHUMSKA: (Through interpreter) We need everything now because we are losing our territories, our people, our lives.

LYTVYNOVA: Ukraine's top commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said over the weekend, the situation on the battlefield was getting significantly worse.

Polina Lytvynova, NPR News, Kyiv. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Polina Lytvynova

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