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Zelenskyy says he urged House speaker Johnson to hold Ukraine aid vote


A woman holds food items found as she stands outside her house which was destroyed by a Russian drone attack in a residential neighborhood, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on March 28, 2024.
A woman holds food items found as she stands outside her house which was destroyed by a Russian drone attack in a residential neighborhood, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on March 28, 2024.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he spoke with the U.S. speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, and encouraged him to hold a vote approving more U.S. military aid for Ukraine.

“Quick passage of US aid to Ukraine by Congress is vital. We recognize that there are differing views in the House of Representatives on how to proceed, but the key is to keep the issue of aid to Ukraine as a unifying factor,” Zelenskyy wrote in a Thursday post on the social media platform X.

For weeks, Republicans have been blocking substantial aid to Kyiv to help in Ukraine’s fight against Russia. Johnson has not allowed a vote on a national security bill, which would provide funding for Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine, due to the lack of language about security at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We also discussed the importance of cutting off Russia's sources of funding for its war as soon as possible and using frozen Russian assets for Ukraine’s benefit,” Zelenskyy also said in the post.

Russia’s escalating missile attacks prompt Ukrainian calls for more US aid
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Earlier Thursday, Ukraine’s military said that Russian forces attacked overnight with 28 drones and five missiles.

The Ukrainian air force said the country’s air defenses shot down 26 of the drones, with intercepts taking place over the Odesa, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia regions.

Ivan Fedorov, the regional governor in Zaporizhzhia, said on Telegram that falling debris from the drones caused fire at several residential buildings and injured two people.

President Zelenskyy said Wednesday it is vital to bolster his country’s air defenses and speed delivery of F-16 fighter jets for use against Russia’s invasion.

“There are no rational explanations for why Patriots, which are plentiful around the world, are still not covering the skies of Kharkiv and other cities and communities under attack by Russian terrorists,” Zelenskyy said on social media. “Every day, we work to provide better protection for our people and Ukraine.”

Zelenskyy’s comments came after Russian strikes on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv killed one person and injured 19 others.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said the Russian attack damaged 18 residential buildings.

Russia said Wednesday it thwarted rocket attacks by Ukraine targeting the Belgorod region, while Ukraine said Russia attacked overnight with 13 aerial drones.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the country’s air defenses shot down 18 Ukrainian rockets.

Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of Belgorod, said on Telegram there was some damage to homes in several villages, and that at least one person was hurt.

Belgorod, located along the border between Russia and Ukraine, is a frequent target of Ukrainian attacks as Ukraine seeks to defeat the invasion Russia launched more than two years ago.

Some information for this report came from Reuters.

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