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German FM says Berlin will initiate search for more air defense for Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 4, 2024 6:16 PM 3 min read
Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock gives a speech in Berlin, Germany, on March 24, 2024. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

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Berlin will call on allies worldwide to examine their air defense capabilities and "to provide whatever we all can" to Ukraine, Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said after a NATO-Ukraine Council meeting in Brussels on April 4.

As Russia intensified its attacks on Ukraine during the spring, the shortage of air defense systems in Ukrainian cities and villages became more tangible.

According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, Russia launched over 400 missiles of various types, 600 Shahed drones, and 3,000 guided aerial bombs at Ukraine in March, causing severe damage to the civilian and energy infrastructure.

"We see what's happening in Ukraine, we realize that you need air defense now because it's now that schoolchildren really have to be in safety, that in Odesa the port has to be protected," Baerbock said in a joint video address with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

"We will call on Europe again that everybody has to check where their air defense is, what can they provide for Ukraine, but also have this pledge worldwide, arrange the funding. Because we definitely know: every day, every month counts, and it's not only words, it's action that matters now for you in Ukraine."

In December last year, Germany delivered the second Patriot air defense system to Ukraine.

At the April 4 meeting, Kuleba called on partners to supply Ukraine with additional Patriot air defense systems that are vital in protecting Ukraine's airspace, as they have proven effective even against advanced Russian ballistics such as Kinzhal missiles.

Missiles hit Kyiv seconds after air raid alert, leaving people no time to shelter
“Masha is safe. And we now have a terrace,” Andrii Petrus, a barista, said while pouring coffee into a paper cup. The coffee shop he was working in had its window frames blown out by the explosion following yet another Russian missile attack on Kyiv — a third over the

"It is impossible to understand why the allies cannot find additional batteries to take them to places where ballistic missiles are fired every day," said Kuleba, as cited by the Foreign Ministry's press service.

"In March alone, 94 ballistic missiles were launched at Ukraine. On average, three per day. This does not happen anywhere else in the world."

Kuleba previously told Reuters that Ukraine's partners had more than 100 Patriot systems at their disposal, but they did not want to share at least five or seven of them – the minimum required number to significantly improve additional protection, according to Kyiv's calculations.

The minister also met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging Washington "to find ways to provide additional Patriot air defense systems as soon as possible."

"I am grateful to the Secretary for taking action right away to reciprocate this call. We also discussed next steps in the coming days and weeks to unlock supplemental U.S. aid for Ukraine," Kuleba said on X.

Air defense ammunition has been dwindling recently as $60 billion in U.S. aid remains effectively blocked in Congress by political disputes. The American media wrote that Ukraine may soon be forced to "ration" its air defense missiles, targeting only one out of every five enemy projectiles.

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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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