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Zelensky appeals for help as Putin's forces pound Ukrainian frontline

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks with US House Speaker Mike Johnson (via REUTERS)
Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks with US House Speaker Mike Johnson (via REUTERS)

Ukraine's air force said on Saturday that Russia fired four missiles into eastern Ukraine overnight, as well as 12 Shahed drones across the country.

The defence ministry said nine of the drones were shot down in four regions and the attack comes after Russia launched air strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure this week.

The latest action comes as part of a series of attacks on both sides with Russia saying the most recent strikes were in retaliation to Ukraine’s assault on Russian border regions.

Russian forces have increasingly turned to ballistic missiles, which are proving harder for Ukraine’s defence systems to shoot down.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said that his country will be forced to retreat without further help from Western nations.

"If there is no US support, it means that we have no air defence, no Patriot missiles, no jammers for electronic warfare, no 155mm artillery rounds…  we will go back, retreat, step by step, in small steps,” he told the Washington Post.

"We are trying to find some way not to retreat.

“You have to do more with less. How? Of course, to go back. Make the frontline shorter. If it breaks, the Russians could go to the big cities."

There is a growing understanding across the Western allies that Ukraine is losing the ground war against Russia, and by summer could face defeat, Robert Dex wrote on Friday.

Russia is pounding front lines with artillery, rocket and drone fire — and at over five times the rate the Ukrainian army can reply.