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U.S. to send Ukraine another Patriot air defence system to answer Kyiv’s pleas – National

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The United States will send Ukraine another Patriot missile system, two U.S. officials said Tuesday, answering Kyiv’s desperate calls for more air defenses as it battles an intense Russian assault on the northeastern Kharkiv region.

The officials said President Joe Biden has approved the move. It would be the second Patriot system that the U.S. has given to Ukraine, although the Pentagon has routinely provided an undisclosed number of missiles for the system. Other allies, including Germany, also have provided air defense systems as well as munitions for them.

The two U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been publicly announced. The decision was first reported by The New York Times.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday at the opening of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Germany was sending more air defense systems.

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Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced Germany would deliver another 100 Patriot air defense missiles in an initiative with Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.

A Russian campaign of aerial bombardment that began in March has inflicted such heavy damage to generating capacity that blackouts are having to be scheduled across Ukraine.


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Zelenskyy late last month pleaded for additional U.S.-made Patriot systems, arguing that they will help his forces fight the close to 3,000 bombs that he said Russia launches into the country every month.

Speaking in Madrid, Zelenskyy said Ukraine still urgently needs another seven of the systems to fend off Russian strikes against the power grid and civilian areas, as well as military targets, with devastating glide bombs that wreak wide destruction.


Click to play video: 'Russia-Ukraine war: NATO leaders meet as Ukraine seeks easing of western weapons restrictions'


Russia-Ukraine war: NATO leaders meet as Ukraine seeks easing of western weapons restrictions


He said Ukraine needs two of the systems to protect Kharkiv, where Russia launched a cross-border offensive on May 10 that still has Ukrainian troops reeling.

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“If we had these modern Patriot systems, (Russian) airplanes wouldn’t be able to fly close enough to drop the (glide) bombs on the civilian population and the military,” Zelenskyy told a news conference in the Spanish capital.

The decision comes as defense leaders from the U.S., Europe and other nations prepare for their monthly meeting on Ukraine’s security needs. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will host the meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

The U.S. has routinely pressed for allies to provide air defense systems to Ukraine, but many are reluctant to give up the high-tech systems — particularly countries in eastern Europe that also feel threatened by Russia.

The U.S. also is wary of giving too many away, since they are used all over the world to protect U.S. forces and allies.

Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters on Monday that Ukraine’s need for air defense will be a topic at the meeting.


Click to play video: 'US to increase Ukraine air defenses as Russian gains concern officials'


US to increase Ukraine air defenses as Russian gains concern officials


&copy 2024 The Canadian Press





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U.S. to send Ukraine another Patriot air defence system to answer Kyiv’s pleas – National

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