Ukraine Downs 24 Russian Drones as Zelenskyy Seeks Air Defense Aid

Ukraine’s military said Thursday it destroyed 24 drones launched by Russian forces overnight.

The Ukrainian air force said Russia sent a total of 29 drones in attacks directed at the Odesa, Mykolaiv and Kirohovrad regions.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to attend a meeting of European leaders in Spain on Thursday as he seeks more support for his military, including air defense systems.

Zelenskyy said ahead of the meeting that Ukraine is doing its best to boost its air defenses ahead of the coming winter season.

“We are expecting certain decisions from our partners,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address.

U.S. President Joe Biden called key Western allies on Tuesday to reassure them of continued American military support for Ukraine after a group of congressional Republicans forced the exclusion of immediate new funding for Kyiv.

The White House said Biden spoke with the leaders of Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, Britain, and of the European Union and NATO, along with the foreign minister of France.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said Biden reaffirmed the strong commitment of the United States to supporting Ukraine as it defends itself “for as long as it takes, as did every other leader on the call.”

Kirby said the leaders discussed efforts to continue providing Ukraine with the ammunition and the weapons systems that it needs to defend itself and to continue strengthening Ukrainian air defenses as they prepare for more attacks on critical infrastructure. “Now, certainly, but also certainly in the winter months ahead,” Kirby said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military command said that it has sent about 1.1 million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine that American naval forces seized from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps last year as Tehran tried to transfer the ammunition to Houthi fighters in Yemen in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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