Ukraine’s former president has told Sky News that military aircraft should be supplied to his country to help fight the Russians and “give us the opportunity to protect you”.
Petro Poroshenko was speaking to Sky’s special correspondent Alex Crawford in the Kyiv region and said without the aircraft, there is “no other way out”.
He said: “We need to be united. This is not a war against Ukraine – this is a war against the whole West. Against US, against Europe, against the UK.
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“We need a plane – a military jet. I’m absolutely confident we have no other way out. We like to have the plane now because we need to protect our airspace.
“We don’t need now the American pilots, we don’t need now the American soldiers – just give us the opportunity to protect you.”
Asked about his confidence over the potential for the humanitarian corridors to succeed, he warned: “Please, don’t trust Putin. Putin never keeps promises. I’m not very much optimistic, frankly speaking.”
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Mr Poroshenko has taken up arms himself and is with other soldiers and civilians trying to protect the nation’s capital, Kyiv.
He said: “It is vitally important to protect Ukraine. Protecting Kyiv means protecting Ukraine.
“We just do our best – not allow them (the Russians) to go further. Yesterday and the day before yesterday we saved the lives of 2,500 people.
“Only our battalion helped to evacuate (the people), providing the military protection.
“Having the opportunity to see what’s happening after Russia attacked Irpin where we evacuate – that was a disastrous picture with dead civilians in the cathedral, in the school – they’re just lying on the roads, killed by Russian criminals.”
The UN Human Rights Office has said 364 civilians have been killed and 759 injured since the start of the invasion by Russia – but the figures were in reality likely to be “considerably higher”.