UK’s Sunak says ‘nothing is off the table’ as Zelenskyy pushes for advanced weapons

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared on Wednesday that “nothing is off the table” after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the U.K. to supply his country with fighter jets.

In his first trip to London since the Russian invasion, Zelenskyy thanked the U.K. for the aid it has provided so far but warned that supplies were “running out” ahead of an anticipated new Russian offensive which, according to battlefield reports, appeared to be taking shape as he spoke.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that he is in the process of determining what aircraft the U.K. could potentially supply to Ukraine, according to a BBC report, but stressed that Britain views such a move as “a long-term solution” and that pilot training could take years.

Following a round of closed-door meetings on Downing Street, Zelenskyy addressed members of parliament at Westminster Hall. 

“Freedom will win — we know Russia will lose,” he declared, adding that, with the help of the United Kingdom, Ukraine would achieve “the most important victory of our lifetime.”

The Ukrainian leader met with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Schulz in Paris in the afternoon before traveling to Brussels, where European Union members had assembled for a two-day summit.

Zelenskyy was greeted with thunderous applause by European Parliament members as he approached the dais to speak. He declared that Ukraine’s fight against Russia was a fight for the freedom of all of Europe. He claimed that Russia’s ultimate goal is to destroy the “European way of life” but that “we will not allow that.”

The Ukrainian leader also used the opportunity to press the EU to fast-track Ukraine’s admission into the 27-nation bloc, a process that typically takes several years.

“A Ukraine that is winning is going to be [a] member of the European Union,” Zelenskyy said to further applause.

Ahead of his remarks, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola urged European allies to consider “quickly, as a next step, providing long-range systems” and warplanes to Ukraine. She said that the response to Russia’s invasion “must be proportional to the threat, and the threat is existential.”

The Associated Press reported that a draft of the summit conclusions states that “the European Union will stand by Ukraine with steadfast support for as long as it takes.” 


While Zelenskyy was drumming up more support for Ukraine, Russian forces managed to expand the front line “significantly” in the eastern Donetsk region, according to Regional Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko, who said Moscow’s forces were closing in on the small number of towns and villages still under Ukrainian control. Russian shelling struck a kindergarten, hospital, cultural center, factory, and apartment buildings, he said.

“The intensity of the shelling has increased dramatically, and we are seeing a significant intensification of activity by the Russian army immediately in the south, center, and north of the region,” Kyrylenko continued. “Russia is again actively using combat aircraft to shell our cities and villages.”

Fierce fighting was also reported in neighboring Luhansk province, where regional Gov. Serhii Haidai said Moscow’s forces had launched “a broad offensive.” 

The Institute for the Study of War said in its latest assessment of the conflict that Russia had “regained the initiative in Ukraine” and had begun its “next major offensive” in the eastern Luhansk region. The Washington D.C.-based think tank added that “Russian forces are gradually beginning an offensive, but its success is not inherent or predetermined.” 

Shelling was also reported in the northeastern Kharkiv province, damaging nearly a dozen apartment buildings in the border city of Vovchansk, per the AP report.