Ukraine receives U.S. air defence system


FILE PHOTO: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses Ukrainians about the prisoners of war (POWs) swap, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv Ukraine, in this handout picture released September 22, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that Ukraine had received sophisticated air defence systems from the United States.

It was the first acknowledgment that Ukraine had received the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), long sought by Kyiv and whose shipment was approved by Washington late last month.

"We absolutely need the United States to show leadership and give Ukraine the air defence systems. I want to thank President (Joe) Biden for a positive decision that has been already made," Zelenskiy said, according to an English-language transcript of the interview.

"But believe me, it's not even nearly enough to cover the civilian infrastructure, schools, hospitals, universities, homes of Ukrainians."

Zelenskiy also thanked the United States for HIMARS and other multiple rocket-launching systems enabling Ukraine to advance against Russian occupying forces.

Ukraine has staged counter-offensives this month to free from occupation large swathes of territory in northeastern Kharkiv region. It has also made advances in the south.

Russia describes its seven-month-old incursion into Ukraine as a "special military operation" and denies it targets civilian sites.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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