Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky opened the first Kiev Defense Industries Forum, in an attempt to attract more military groups to build their equipment in his country to facilitate confronting the Russian invasion.

Since Moscow began its military attack in February 2022, Ukraine has been relying on Western military aid, and is increasingly seeking to enhance local arms production for fear of a decline in Western support over time.

Zelensky said during the opening of the forum on Friday, “Our first mission is to win this war and restore a sustainable peace to our people, and the most important thing is that it be reliable… We’ll achieve this mission in cooperation with you”.

He expressed his country’s desire to locally produce the necessary equipment for our defense, and the advanced defensive systems used by our soldiers to give Ukraine the best results in the field, in front of the forum attended by officials from more than 30 countries and 250 military manufacturing companies.

The forum comes at a time when Ukraine is pushing to obtain more Western weapons to support a counterattack it began in early June to reclaim areas controlled by Russian forces in the east and south of the country, the results of which are still below what Kiev and Western countries had hoped to achieve.

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