Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and members of a forensic team inspect a refrigerator railroad car containing the remains of victims from the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, at a railway station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Torez on July 21. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called on the West to provide precision strike weapons to his country, where the plane was downed by a missile on July 17. (Bulent Kilic / AFP)
WARSAW — Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called on the West to provide precision strike weapons to his country following the shootdown July 17 of a Malaysian Airlines plane over eastern Ukraine.
“We need precise weapons, we need new weapons,” Yatsenyuk told German paper Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung in an interview July 20. “We cannot cope with this situation alone. We are not strong enough. And this is not just a conflict between Ukraine and Russia. After the aircraft was shot down on Thursday, it has become an international conflict.”
The plane crashed in the country’s east, where Russia-backed separatists are fighting against pro-Ukrainian government forces. Both Russia and Ukraine have denied responsibility for the surface-to-air missile strike on the Malaysian airliner, which killed 298 passengers and crew members aboard the Boeing 777-200.
“Russia [increasingly] intervenes against Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said July 18. “Our territory is being fired on from across the border. Our planes are being shot down. Russia supplies military personnel and state-of-the-art weapons [to separatists].”
To date, Western allies have limited their military aid to the Ukrainian Armed Forces to equipment such as protective vests and helmets. The press office of the Ukrainian president said July 14 that Ukraine has asked Poland to accelerate the procedures related to military assistance, in particular related to deliveries of protective equipment. ■