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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks during a press conference on Oct. 2, 2023, in Kyiv. (Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukraine aims to obtain an additional seven Patriot air defense batteries as soon as possible and has offered countries to loan the systems to Kyiv, Kuleba told the Washington Post (WP) in an interview published on April 10.

As Russia intensified its attacks on Ukraine during the spring, the shortage of air defense systems in Ukrainian cities and villages is being felt more as Russian attacks have caused an uptick in casualties.

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 infrastructure.

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.

According to Zelensky, Ukraine needs 25 Patriots to cover the country completely but Kuleba said he is initially focused on securing seven. This would be enough to protect Ukraine's largest cities and leave at least one battery to be closer to the battlefield.

Kuleba said that his team identified over 100 available Patriots abroad, adding that he "struggles to understand" why some countries refuse to transfer at least one of their systems to Ukraine.

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

Kuleba even offered countries to lend Patriots to Ukraine, promising to return the batteries as soon as needed.

"I feel myself hitting the wall with my own head, although I'm a diplomat, and that means I have to dismantle the wall brick by brick," Kuleba told WP.

"But since this kind of diplomacy doesn't work, I feel like hitting the wall. I just don't understand why it's not happening."

According to the minister, four countries in Europe and Asia have Patriots that could be sent to Ukraine immediately, but he also continues lobbying the U.S. to deliver its systems.

"Do you sincerely believe that the whole U.S. Army does not have one spare battery of Patriots that is not on combat duty and that cannot be given to Ukraine? I don't."

After Kuleba stressed Ukraine's need for Patriots at the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Belgium's capital on April 3-4, some of Kyiv's allies have pledged to look for air defense systems for Ukraine.

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2:55 AM

Russia attacks 10 communities in Sumy Oblast.

The attacks caused 174 recorded explosions in the area. The village of Znob-Novhorodske endured the heaviest assault, with 59 explosions caused by Russian artillery, mortars, and Grad MLRS.
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