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from Evan Simko-Bednarski | New York Post.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky slammed the West Wednesday in response to the latest delay in getting fresh fighter jets to Ukrainian pilots.
The latest twist in the weeks-long saga of approximately two dozen Polish MiGs came Tuesday, when Pentagon officials shot down Warsaw’s plan to transfer the Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine via a US airbase in Germany.
The United States has been vocal about the need to supply weapons to Ukraine, but the prospect of flying combat aircraft from NATO territory into the war zone “raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.
Zelensky panned Washington’s concerns as “a technical issue” in his Wednesday address to the Ukrainian people.
“Listen, we have a war,” he said. “We do not have time for all this signaling. This is not ping pong, this is about human lives.”
Get the latest updates in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with The Post’s live coverage.
“Solve it faster,” he urged Western officials. “Do not shift the responsibility — send us planes.”
Zelensky again called on NATO governments to “close the sky” over Ukraine by imposing a no-fly zone.
“Russia uses missiles, aircraft, and helicopters against us, against civilians, against our cities, against our infrastructure,” he said. “If you do not close the sky, you will also be responsible for this catastrophe.”
Zelensky also said Wednesday that Ukrainian ground forces had been able to effectively resupply using captured and abandoned Russian hardware.
“Our military and territorial defense units managed to replenish their arsenal due to the many pieces of equipment they took on the battlefield,” Zelensky said. “Enemy tanks, armored vehicles and ammunition will now work for our defense.”
“What could be more humiliating for the invaders?” he added. “We will beat the enemy with his own weapons.”
“Russian soldiers, you still have a chance to survive,” he added. “Almost two weeks of resistance have shown you that we will not give up, because this is our home. These are our families and children. You can still be saved if you just leave.”
The Ukrainian president confirmed that a humanitarian corridor for the safe passage of civilians had been established between Sumy, near the Russian border, and Poltava, 100 miles to the south. He said 1,600 students and 3,500 residents had been safely evacuated from Sumy as a result.
Zelensky also said that a team of Ukrainian negotiators had recently returned from Belarus, where talks with Moscow were being held. The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine are scheduled to meet Thursday for talks in the Turkish resort city of Antalya.