Ukraine has received patriot missiles manufacturing US and hopes that this will help protect it from Russian bombing during the war, the Ukrainian defense minister said on Wednesday.
“Today, our beautiful Ukrainian sky is more protected thanks to the fact that Patriot air defense systems have arrived in Ukraine,” the minister said in a tweet. Oleksii Reznikov.
Ukrainian officials had previously predicted that the Patriot systems, which Washington agreed to send in October last year, would be a major boost in Ukraine’s campaign to fend off Russian invaders.
Patriots can be thrown against aircraft, cruise missiles, and short-range ballistic missiles. Russia has used these weapons to bomb Ukraine, including residential and civil areasespecially the electrical network during the winter.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Ihnatsaid Tuesday night that the arrival of the Patriots will be a historic event as it will allow Ukrainian forces to fire on Russian targets at a greater distance.
Reznikov thanked United States, Germany and the Netherlandswithout disclosing how many Patriot systems had arrived or when.
The German government website listed a Patriot system among war materials sent to Ukraine last week on Tuesday, and German Foreign Minister annalena baerbockconfirmed it to lawmakers in Berlin on Wednesday.
Reznikov said he first applied for the Patriots when he visited the United States in August 2021, five months before the Russian invasion and seven years after Russia illegally annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. He qualified as “a dream” to have such a systembut reported that the Americans told him at the time that this would be “impossible.”
US forces have been training Ukrainian forces in the use of the Patriots, for which 90 people to operate and maintain each battery.
“Our air defenders have learned to use them as much as they can. And our partners have kept their word,” Reznikov said.
Experts, however, have warned that the effectiveness of the system is limited and that it might not turn the tide of the war, even if will strengthen the arsenal of Ukraine against his most numerous enemy.
(With information from AP)
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