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Germany launches new Ukraine air defense initiative, appeals to EU and NATO allies

by Chris York April 17, 2024 5:33 PM 2 min read
Members of Germany's Bundeswehr look at MIM-104 Patriot missile launching systems at the Luftwaffe Warbelow training center on Dec. 18, 2012, in Warbelow, Germany (Sean Gallup)
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Germany has launched a new initiative to secure more critically needed air defenses for Ukraine, the Tagesschau outlet reported on April 17, citing spokespeople of Germany's defense and foreign ministries.

Berlin has already appealed to EU and NATO partners as well as other unspecified countries, as Russia's intensifying aerial attacks on Ukrainian cities continue to highlight the growing shortage of sufficient air defense systems.

A Russian missile attack on the city of Chernihiv on the morning of April 17 killed at least 17 people.

"This would not have happened if Ukraine had received enough air defense equipment and if the world's determination to counter Russian terror was also sufficient," President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegram.

According to Tagesschau, the new initiative is being jointly undertaken by Germany's Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry.

While no further details have been released at this time, a spokesperson said: "We need to seriously consider again whether there are other systems that can be quickly provided to Ukraine."

On April 13, Berlin said it would provide Ukraine with one more Patriot air defense system to fend off increased Russian attacks.

According to Zelensky, Ukraine needs 25 Patriots to protect the entire country from Russian attacks, but Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he is for now focused on securing seven to protect Ukraine's largest cities.

Russia's recent strikes against Ukraine's energy infrastructure destroyed several thermal power plants across the country, including the Trypillia plant, the main electricity supplier to Kyiv, Zhytomyr, and Cherkasy oblasts.

Kyiv has ramped up its calls on allies to provide Ukraine with more air defenses, in particular with U.S.-made Patriot systems that can intercept ballistic missiles.

State Emergency Service: Russian missile attack on Chernihiv kills at least 17, injures 60, including children
Russian forces launched a missile attack on the city of Chernihiv on the morning of April 17, killing at least 17 people and injuring 60, including three children, the State Emergency Service reported.
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