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Kuleba: Ukraine in talks with partners to receive 2 Patriot, 1 SAMP/T batteries

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 13, 2024 12:07 AM 2 min read
MIM-104 Patriot short-range anti-aircraft missile systems for defense against aircraft, cruise missiles, and medium-range tactical ballistic missiles at Rzeszow Airport, Poland. July 24, 2022. (Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Ukraine is conducting "active negotiations" with its partners to receive two additional batteries of the Patriot air defense system and one long-range SAMP/T anti-aircraft missile battery, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an excerpt from an interview aired on April 12.

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-type 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.

The decision to supply Patriot batteries is up to Washington, since it is a U.S.-made system, according to the minister.

"If the countries where they (the batteries of the systems) are located were ready to transfer them to us now, it would be a matter of a week, and we would receive them," Kuleba said.

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

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

ISW: Thin air defenses may permit more Russian attacks on rear Ukrainian cities
The need to redistribute Ukraine’s already thinning air defense systems to protect heavily targeted cities such as Kharkiv may lead to routine Russian attacks on rear logistics and cities in Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in their April 10 report.

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