Zelenskyy says most displaced people would return to Ukraine if major cities had good air defenses

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Most Ukrainian refugees would return to the country if its largest cities had comprehensive air defense systems, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with the UK tabloid newspaper The Sun on Nov. 20.

"If seven or eight of the biggest cities in Ukraine had total air defense for their regions — not only the city, but the region around it — then this would actually bring back all of our people from different countries," the head of state said.

Read also: Zelenskyy discusses additional air defense with Trudeau

If this is achieved, Ukrainians would work and pay taxes, which would help close the gap in Ukraine's budget, the president added. Then the state would not have to ask for large quantities of financial assistance from the United States and European countries.

"People would come back, would work, children would mostly go to school, because the air defense would protect them,” Zelenskyy said.

“We are not talking about total security, but mostly (secure)."

Read also: Russia's missile stockpile remains below pre-war levels despite increased production — HUR

He said that Ukraine would find a way to buy, rent, or produce weapons if partners were unwilling to provide them for free, but for this, it was necessary to have air defenses.

On Nov. 18, the president announced plans to strengthen Ukraine's air defense in the coming weeks.

On Nov. 16, Zelenskyy said that the government was working on increasing the capabilities of Ukrainian air defenses. The head of state said cities such as Kharkiv, as well as Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, need stronger air defense systems.

In August, UK intelligence reported that Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure were likely to continue this winter.

If Russia succeeds in attacking Ukraine's energy infrastructure again this winter, Ukraine will consider retaliating in kind by attacking Russia’s oil and gas infrastructure, Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said on Nov. 10, adding that Ukraine is implementing systems to protect critical infrastructure from Russian strikes, including air defense systems and other “systems that we will not talk about.”

Read also: Russia has stockpiled 800 missiles in occupied Crimea, Ukrainians need to prepare – Air Force

Earlier, in October, President Zelenskyy said Ukraine would respond to any Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine