Kyiv [Ukraine]: Eight rockets launched by Russia destroyed Vinnytsia airport located in Central Ukraine, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, reported The Kyiv Independent.
Zelensky called on the western nations and said, “The world has the power to close our skies for Russian rockets and aircraft.” He adds that Ukraine requires aircraft, to make Ukrainian skies safe.
Vinnytsia airport is located 7.5 kilometres east of the railway station of Vinnytsia and 1 kilometre southwest of the village of Gavryshivka. It is located in the centre of Ukraine and had convenient transportation for passengers and cargo both in Ukraine and abroad.
The aerodrome was founded in the early ’50s. For more than half a century it worked as an important transport system of Ukraine. Zelensky slammed NATO’s decision not to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia.
“A NATO summit took place today. It was a weak summit, a confused summit, a summit that shows that not everyone considers the fight for freedom in Europe the number one goal,” Zelensky said in a video message, as quoted by Russia’s Sputnik.
Zelensky accused the members of the military alliance of giving Russia “the green light to start shelling Ukrainian cities and villages.”
He said that NATO countries have created a narrative that closing the skies over Ukraine would provoke Russia’s direct aggression against NATO. “This is the self-hypnosis of those who are weak, insecure inside, despite the fact they possess weapons many times stronger than we have,” the Ukrainian President was quoted as saying by CNN.
This reaction comes after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday outrightly rejected to police a no-fly zone over Ukraine, and warned that such a move could provoke widespread war in Europe with Russia.
The remarks came during the extraordinary meeting of the NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels on Friday.
Stoltenberg made clear that NATO would not impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine saying, allies have agreed NATO should not have planes operating over Ukraine.
Earlier in a video message, Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had called for NATO to act before it’s too late.
“If you don’t (help us), I am afraid you (NATO) will have to share responsibility for the lives and suffering of the Ukrainian civilians who die because of ruthless Russian pilots dropping bombs on them,” said Kuleba.
Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognised Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities.