Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned NATO's decision to rule out the implementation of a no-fly zone over the country.
"NATO has deliberately decided not to cover the skies over Ukraine," Zelensky said in a Facebook address late on Friday.
"We believe that NATO countries have created a narrative that closing the skies over Ukraine would provoke Russia's direct aggression against NATO. This is the self-hypnosis of those who are weak, insecure inside, despite the fact they possess weapons many times stronger than we have," he said.
Zelensky said NATO's leadership on Friday: "Gave the green light for further bombing of Ukrainian towns and villages, refusing to make a no-fly zone. You could have closed the sky!"
Zelensky described NATO's summit on Friday where the decision was made as, "a weak summit, a confused summit, a summit that shows that not everyone considers the struggle for freedom to be Europe's number one goal."
"For nine days we have been seeing a fierce war — destroying our cities, shelling our people, our children, residential neighborhoods, churches, schools, destroying everything that provides a normal life, human life," Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian president questioned what the members of NATO were thinking about during their meeting: "All the people who will die from this day will also die because of you, because of your weakness, because of your disunity."
Zelensky did, however, express his gratitude to NATO countries that have shown support for Ukraine: "I am also grateful to the friends of our country. There are many countries which are our friends in NATO, most of our partners, most of our powerful partners, those who help our country in spite of decisions."
Zelensky said despite the lack of no-fly zone he was sure Ukraine would be victorious: "From the first day of the invasion, I am sure of victory. And so we do not feel alone, we will continue to fight, we will defend our state, we will liberate our land."
More background: Earlier today, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the establishment of a no-fly zone in Ukraine by the United States and its NATO allies could lead to a “full-fledged war in Europe.”
He said Washington would continue to work with its allies to provide Ukrainians with the means to defend themselves from Russian aggression.
NATO’s chief said Friday that a no-fly zone over Ukraine is not an option being considered by the alliance. “We’ve agreed that we should not have NATO planes operating over Ukrainian airspace or NATO troops on Ukrainian territory,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a news conference in Brussels.
European Council President Charles Michel said on Thursday that enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine is a NATO decision, but that it would be “one step too far” with a “real risk of escalation and a real risk of a possible third international war.”