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"Russia destroys food, Lithuania delivers it," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis wrote on the social platform X. "A corridor for grain transit to Baltic ports has been accepted and agreed upon, relieving pressure at the Ukrainian border and increasing supply to Africa and beyond."
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New York Times: Leaked Pentagon documents indicate Ukrainian air defenses in danger

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 10, 2023 4:17 AM 1 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Ukraine’s air defense network is in danger of being overwhelmed unless it is fortified by a large number of additional munitions, according to an analysis of leaked Pentagon documents and U.S. officials who spoke to the New York Times.

So far, Ukraine’s air defenses have proven surprisingly effective in defending the country from Russian attacks and in preventing Russia from gaining control over Ukraine’s airspace. Repeated Russian attacks, however, are draining Ukrainian weapons stockpiles, possibly opening the door for Russian planes to inflict damage in Ukraine more easily, the NYT wrote.

One of the recently leaked documents projected that Ukraine’s stocks of Soviet-era S-300 and Buk air defense missiles, Ukraine’s most important air defense weapons, would be fully depleted by early May and mid-April. The document was issued on Feb. 28 and it is unclear if the assessment has changed.

The same leaked document claimed that Ukraine’s air defense in front-line areas would “be completely reduced” by May 23, the NYT reported.

In the event Ukraine’s air defenses reach critically low levels, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin could decide that it is now safe enough to send in Russia’s valuable and numerous fighter jets and bombers to attack Ukrainian positions and artillery, senior Pentagon officials said.

U.S. General Philip Breedlove told the NYT that nonetheless, “Russia still remains a bit fearful of flying into Ukraine because there’s still a fair amount of density of Ukrainian kit.”

While Western nations have provided Ukraine with additional air defense systems, military officials told the NYT that Kyiv will require far more than was has already been sent in order to sustain its air defenses.

One U.S. military official said that reinforcements to Ukraine’s air defense systems were critical to helping Ukraine regain territory in its planned spring counteroffensive.

Ukraine’s Air Force said on April 9 that key Western air defense systems, including the much-anticipated Patriot missiles, are set to arrive in the country soon. The Patriot missiles are expected to bolster Ukraine’s air defense systems, but Pentagon officials told the NYT that Ukraine will need “far more” than the Patriot to succeed in the coming months.

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