Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted that he is afraid of a possible return of Donald Trump to the White House in 2024, before begging for more American-made Patriot missile systems.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted he has concerns about the possible re-election of Donald Trump next year, saying that he was unsure how exactly the Republican leader would have reacted had Russia invaded during his presidency.
The Ukrainian head-of-state also praised the response of the Biden administration, which has regularly handed over billions of dollars worth of weapons aid to the Eastern European nation since Moscow’s invasion began last year.
Asked how he felt about Donald Trump, Zelensky admitted that he was more comfortable with dealing with Biden and that the return of a Republican-led government could end up being difficult for his war effort.
“President Biden is the president during a full-scale war and he has been more helpful to us than President Trump,” Zelensky told the interviewer, qualifying the statement by noting that there “was no full-scale war” going on while Trump was in office.
“In a situation like this, when there is support, you are afraid of changes,” Zelensky said. “And to be honest, when you mention a change of administration, I feel the same way as anyone… You want changes for the better, but it can also be the other way around.”
He also appeared uncomfortable with Donald Trump’s claim that he would be able to negotiate a peace settlement to the Ukraine War within 24 hours, adding that the 45th American leader did not seem to care that Ukrainian territory — namely Crimea — was being “occupied” by Russia during his presidency after being illegally annexed under the Obama administration in 2014.
Ukrainian armed forces claimed to have shot down a Russian hypersonic missile using the American-made Patriot missile defence system. https://t.co/uSfNbfdxkj
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 6, 2023
Zelensky also reportedly used the interview as an opportunity to beg the West for more Patriot missile systems, claiming that his country currently does not have enough of the defensive weapons to protect both the frontline and civilians in cities.
“There’s currently one weapon capable of stopping some types of missiles launched by the Russian Federation against our civilian population, schools, infrastructure and energy system,” he said. “The only system in the world is the Patriot.”
The Ukrainian President concluded that “50 Patriots” would be enough to protect Ukraine from Russian air attacks “for the most part”, implying that such weapons would be extremely beneficial to any Ukrainian counteroffensive.
At present, Ukraine has at least two Patriot batteries, which include launchers, a powerful radar system, a control station and other equipment. Zelesnky’s request for as many as 50, therefore, would be a massive ask for the Western world, with each individual Patriot platform reportedly costing over one billion dollars.
To make matters worse, according to Raytheon, the American manufacturer of the weapons system, only somewhere in the region of “240 Patriot fire units” have been produced for the entire world, with individual rockets of the latest generation for the platform costing as much as $4.1 million each.
Such a donation would ultimately dwarf the value of what has already been committed by the United States, alone, with the Biden administration having earmarked around $37 billion worth of security assistance to Ukraine, though billions more of American taxpayer dollars have been sent in other forms of aid.
The safety of the equipment is far from guaranteed either if sent to Ukraine, with one of the two batteries already in the country reportedly being successfully hit in a Russian strike, though U.S. security officials have insisted that the damage done was minimal.
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 23, 2023