Russia-Ukraine war latest updates: Zelensky renews call for air defense

Air defense remains a top concern for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after Friday’s barrage of Russian missiles hit critical infrastructure across seven cities.

Zelensky renewed calls during his nightly address Sunday for “modern air defense systems in sufficient numbers” to protect Ukraine’s skies. “This will be one of the most powerful steps that will bring the end of aggression closer,” Zelensky added. “Russia will have to follow the path of cessation of aggression, when it can no longer follow the path of missile strikes.”

Ukrainians in major cities, including the capital, Kyiv, spent the weekend rebuilding after Russia launched more than 60 missiles Friday. Power was restored to 6 million Ukrainians as of Saturday night, and water access had returned to the capital. Russia’s Defense Ministry, which has increasingly targeted infrastructure in central and western Ukraine, said Friday’s missile barrage was meant to prevent the transfer of foreign weaponry and hurt Ukraine’s defense industry.

The missile attack came as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares to visit Minsk on Monday for talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Putin could be trying to set conditions for a renewed offensive against Ukraine, analysts at the Institute for the Study of War think tank suggested. Lukashenko has not committed Belarusian troops to Russia’s invasion but he has allowed Russia to use Belarus as a staging ground.

“Protection of the border with both Russia and Belarus is also a constant priority,” Zelensky said Sunday night. “We are preparing for all possible defense scenarios. Whoever inclines Minsk to whatever, it will not help them.”

Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects around the globe.

4. From our correspondents

Ukraine’s combat amputees face a hard road home: The Ukrainian military medical system is overwhelmed with people who were injured by war and had to have limbs amputated. The U.S. Defense Department has not yet used its $20 billion in security assistance committed to the government in Kyiv and its vast medical resources.

One factor increasing the number of amputations is the lack of reliable and speedy air evacuations, with some waiting hours when seconds matter.

Those who could have lived with prosthetics are left with only wheelchairs and crutches. Cost is a massive issue, but so is a lack of specialists.

“With such prevalent access to the internet, it means that soldiers can upload things to show people the experiences they’re having right now,” said Matthew Moss, a weapons historian who uses open-source material — data posted publicly on social media and other digital platforms — to track modern warfare.

“There’s a broad range of reasons why collecting this sort of data is so important,” Moss told The Post. “But for me, personally, it’s a desire to understand the very human nature of conflict and the experience that people are having on the ground.”

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