Ukraine said it needs more Patriot air defenses to deal with Russian ballistic missile attacks

Members of the Ukrainian air defenses (AP) (Andrew Kravchenko /)

Ukraine said Monday it does not have enough air defense systems to defend all its cities and critical infrastructure from Russian ballistic missiles, amid increased shelling by Vladimir Putin’s forces.

This was warned by the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ignat, after Russia attacked the city of Dnipro last night with 16 missiles of which only 4 could be shot down.

Unfortunately, we do not have enough means against ballistic missilesIgnat said on the national television news service.

The military spokesman explained that Ukraine is already using Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems received in April from the US, the Netherlands and Germany, but stressed that the number is “totally insufficient to cover” all “big cities and critical infrastructures”.

The Air Force had previously reported the launch last morning by Russia of 16 missiles, including two ballistic rockets Iskander-M, and 20 kamikaze drone Iranian-made Shahed-136 against the southeastern city of Dnipro.

Air defense patrol in Kherson (Reuters)
Air defense patrol in Kherson (Reuters) (STRINGER /)

According to the source, only 4 of the 16 missiles were intercepted by the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses, which did manage to shoot down all the drones. Several buildings and an infrastructure of the fire brigade in which 10 trucks burned were partially destroyed by the impact of the missiles.

During his numerous trips abroad to meet his Western partners, the Ukrainian President, Volodimir Zelenskyhas insisted on the importance of receive more modern anti-aircraft systems able to protect more Ukrainian cities as kyiv is already protected.

Ukraine’s air defenses are capable of shooting down almost all missiles Russia launches at the capital, including supersonic ones, but other parts of the country remain vulnerable to such Russian attacks.

kyiv received the first shipments from the system of Patriot surface-to-air missiles made in USA in April past. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted that both Germany and the United States had delivered anti-aircraft batteries to Ukraine.

Ukraine had repeatedly lobbied for such a high-tech system to guard against Russian attacks on civilians and infrastructure.

Stinger anti-aircraft system (Reuters / file)
Stinger anti-aircraft system (Reuters / file) (STRINGER /)

Ukraine’s air defenses have played a key role in protecting the country from attack and preventing Moscow’s forces from taking control of the skies.

But as Russia faced mounting setbacks on the ground, it began systematically attacking Ukraine’s critical infrastructure in attacks that have disrupted electricity, water and heating supplies to millions of people.

When Russia invaded the country in February 2022, Ukraine’s air defenses largely consisted of Soviet-era SAM systems and aircraft.

Since the beginning of the war they have been considerably reinforced: in addition to Patriot, the United States provided NASAMS and Germany IRIS-Ttwo advanced systems, while older equipment has also been donated, such as the systems S-300 and HAWK and the missiles Stinger.

(With information from EFE and AFP)

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