Ukraine says Russian landing ship destroyed

AP , Thursday 24 Mar 2022

Ukraine's navy on Thursday reported destroying Russia's large landing ship, Orsk, near the port city of Berdyansk.

In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, early Thursday, March 24, 2022. AP

A short Facebook statement about the ship was accompanied with photos and videos of fire and thick plumes of smoke in the port.

The Russian military has not commented on what happened to the ship.

Berdyansk has been under Russian control since Feb. 27.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on NATO to provide ``effective and unrestricted'' support to Ukraine, including any weapons the country needs to fend off the Russian invasion.

``We ask that the alliance declare that it will fully assist Ukraine to win this war, clear our territory of the invaders and restore peace in Ukraine,'' he said Wednesday during his nightly video address to the nation.

Zelenskyy will speak to the NATO summit Thursday by video, his office said.

He appealed to Western countries to stay united in the face what he says are Russia's efforts to ``lobby its interests'' with ``some partners'' to bring them over to its side.

``We will see who is a friend, who is a partner and who has sold out and betrayed us,'' he said in an emotional speech. ``Together we should not allow Russia to break anyone in NATO, the EU or G-7, to break them and drag them to the side of war.''

Zelenskyy noted that Ukrainian skies are still not closed to Russian aircraft and missiles and that Ukraine hasn't received the fighter jets or modern air-defense systems it requested. He said Ukraine also needs tanks and anti-ship systems.

``It has been a month of defending ourselves from attempts to destroy us, wipe us off the face of the earth,'' he said. ``We have lasted six times longer than the enemy had planned . but the Russian troops are destroying our cities, killing civilians indiscriminately, raping women, kidnapping children, shooting refugees, capturing aid columns and looting.''

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