Ukrainian Official Calls for No-Fly Zone: 'How Many Children Have To Die?'

A member of Ukraine's Parliament called for the U.S. and other Western nations to declare a no-fly zone over the country, asking "how many children have to die?"

"We are grateful that right now, the international community, the United States, the U.K., are sending us Javelins, they are sending Stingers, so that we can fight in the air, we can fight with the tanks," Ukrainian MP Oleksandra Ustinova said during an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday. "But if you want to protect the civilian population and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is targeting the civilian population now...we need to protect our sky. That's why we need a no-fly zone."

"I know this is something that nobody wants to talk about because everybody is scared of Vladimir Putin, who is a bully...and my only question here to the international community would be: what is the red line for [Putin]? What is the red line when you actually step in? How many children have to die?" Ustinova continued.

The comments by Ustinova come as war continues to rage in Ukraine, with Russian military forces continuing to attack Ukraine's capital of Kyiv and other large cities such as Kharkiv, the nation's second-largest city.

As fighting has continued to escalate in Ukraine, many lawmakers in the nation, including President Volodymyr Zelensky have called for a no-fly zone to be imposed.

"The sanctions are heading in the right direction. In addition to disconnecting the Russian Central Bank from SWIFT and providing more Stingers and anti-tank weapons, we need the West to impose a no-fly zone over significant parts of Ukraine," Zelensky said in a statement obtained by Axios on Monday. "Ukraine can beat the aggressor. We are proving this to the world. But our allies must also do their part."

Ustinova also made similar comments on Monday, telling reporters, "if we do not have a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which means that Russians would not be able to use their missiles over Ukraine, to use their airplanes, they will probably erase Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities from the map."

Ustinova also accused Russia of targeting kindergartens and children's hospitals with their air attacks.

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if the U.S. has considered declaring a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

"The president has been very clear that he is not intending to send U.S. troops to fight a war with Russia," Psaki said in response. "And I think what's important to note here is that is essentially what this would be a step toward because a no-fly zone would require implementation."

John Kirby, the spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense also said "no" when questioned if the U.S. has considered declaring a no-fly zone over Ukraine airspace on Monday.

Newsweek reached out to the Department of Defense for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Oleksandra Ustinova, a member of Ukraine's Parliament called on the U.S. and other Western nations to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. Above, a picture taken on March 1, 2022 at Independence Square in Kyiv shows the Independence monument seen behind sand prepared to make a protective barrier. Sergei Supinsky/Getty