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Explosive power of RF air strikes since beginning of year exceeded 9 kilotons - Umerov

Explosive power of RF air strikes since beginning of year exceeded 9 kilotons - Umerov Photo: Rustem Umerov, head of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (Getty Images)

The total explosive power of Russian massed combined air strikes on Ukraine since the beginning of this year has already exceeded 9 kilotons, stated Defense Minister Rustem Umeyrov during an extraordinary session of the Ukraine-NATO Council.

At the meeting, which was held at the initiative of the Ukrainian side, the main focus was on the recent mass air strikes by Russia, as well as the need to strengthen the air defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"The total explosive power of combined air attacks on Ukraine since the beginning of the year exceeds 9 kilotons. Only 3% of those Russian missiles, drones, and guided bombs hit military targets, while 97% struck civilian infrastructure," the publication states.

Umerov, during the meeting, cited data from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights showing that Russian shelling had caused 712 of the 1804 civilian casualties in Ukraine in the last three months.

The Ukrainian side provided participants of today's Council meeting with a "comprehensive overview" of the urgent needs of the country's air defense.

"The support of partners in this matter is crucial. It will save thousands of innocent lives. The more Russian missiles are shot down in Ukrainian skies, the less threat they pose to NATO member states that border Ukraine," Umerov's words were conveyed by the press service.

Ukraine-NATO Council

The format of the Ukraine-NATO Council was established following the decision of the summit in Vilnius in the summer of 2023 as one of the steps towards our country's accession to the North Atlantic Alliance.

The new cooperation platform replaced the Ukraine-NATO Commission, which existed since 1997, and opened up broader opportunities for cooperation.

During Council meetings, mutual consultations take place, decisions are made, and this format serves as a mechanism for crisis consultations between Ukraine and NATO.

The Ukrainian side and Alliance members sit in the Council as equals. Meetings can take place at various levels - heads of state and governments, foreign and defense ministers, ambassadors, or in a military format.

All member countries, including Ukraine, can convene Council meetings for crisis consultations. This is what distinguishes the new platform from the Commission format.

Today, on March 28, a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council at the ambassadorial level took place against the backdrop of the ongoing mass Russian shelling of critical Ukrainian infrastructure. This meeting was convened at the initiative of Kyiv.

During the meeting, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov informed allies about the consequences of Russia's terrorist attacks and the response measures taken by Ukraine. He also called on NATO member countries to provide Ukraine with additional air defense and missile defense systems, including missiles for them.

Massive Russian air strikes on Ukraine

Russian aggressors practically bombard Ukraine daily. The occupiers actively employ Shaheds and, lately, resort more frequently to mass missile strikes on Ukraine.

As an example, on the night of March 22, Russian terrorists launched a combined missile-air strike against Ukraine. In total, the enemy employed 151 means of aerial attack. Overall, 92 aerial targets were successfully destroyed, including 55 Shaheds, 35 cruise missiles Kh-101/Kh-555, and 2 guided aviation missiles Kh-59.

It should be noted that on the night of March 24, Russian occupiers once again attacked Ukraine with missiles and kamikaze drones. Air defense forces destroyed 18 missiles and 25 drones. Later, it became known that due to the massive shelling, power outages were introduced in several cities in different regions.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that another ten Patriot systems from allies could radically change the situation in the war.