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President Zelensky of Ukraine is urging the United States and Europe to do more to support his nation as they struggle against Russian advances on multiple fronts. He is proposing that NATO planes shoot down Russian missiles in Ukrainian airspace and allow Ukraine to fire American missiles at military targets inside Russia. Zelensky believes that Russia has a huge advantage in the conflict and that the West needs to take bolder steps to ensure Ukraine’s success.

Zelensky’s appeals for more weapons and support come at a critical time for Ukraine as they face a grave military challenge with their army in retreat against Russian forces. With elections suspended due to the war, Zelensky remains president under martial law powers, potentially extending his tenure. He discussed the emotional toll of visiting mass graves, consoling families of dead soldiers, and the limited time he has to spend with his children, which he finds to be a source of happiness and energy.

Zelensky called for NATO to shoot down Russian missiles over Ukraine and provide more F-16 fighter jets and Patriot air defense systems. He emphasized the need for NATO countries to support Ukraine’s military efforts and press for an eventual peace settlement that secures Ukrainian food exports, prisoner exchanges, and the return of abducted Ukrainian children. Zelensky also welcomed suggestions for NATO troops to train or support Ukrainian forces, though he expressed doubts about the practical implementation of such plans.

The West has been hesitant to provide more direct support to Ukraine out of fear of nuclear escalation, but Zelensky argued that the risk of using Western-provided weapons inside Russia could effectively defend Ukraine from the recent assault in the northeast. He believes that President Putin would refrain from using nuclear weapons for self-preservation. Zelensky also suggested that some countries are reluctant to take stronger actions against Russia to maintain trade and diplomatic ties.

Zelensky’s presidency has faced challenges, including surviving Russia’s attempted attack on the Ukrainian leadership early in the war. The future of his presidency remains uncertain with ongoing martial law and a decline in public trust. Despite the difficulties, Zelensky remains focused on supporting Ukraine’s struggle for freedom and democracy. He emphasized Ukraine’s resilience in proving its commitment to democracy through the sacrifices of its people during the war. Ukraine’s suspension of elections during the conflict has been supported by international experts to ensure fair participation for all citizens.

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