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Politico: Kuleba calls for more Patriots to protect cities, counter Russian warplanes

by Martin Fornusek March 26, 2024 6:55 PM 2 min read
The launcher of a Patriot air defense system on Oct. 14, 2020, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. (Thomas Frey/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in an interview with Politico on March 25, urged Kyiv's partners to supply Ukraine with more Patriot air defenses to help protect Ukrainian cities.

Kuleba made the comments shortly after Russia launched ballistic missiles against Kyiv, both of which were reportedly shot down by a Patriot system. Moscow has recently ramped up its missile and drone strikes, targeting mainly the energy infrastructure.

"Give us the damn Patriots," Kuleba said.

"If we had enough air defense systems, namely Patriots, we would be able to protect not only the lives of our people but also our economy from destruction."

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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Patriots and other air defenses also play a vital role on the battlefield. Kuleba underscored the danger posed by Russia's aerial guided bombs: "You cannot jam it. It just falls on your head and destroys everything."

"This is how we're losing positions, and the only way to prevent this is to shoot down the planes carrying the bombs," the minister explained.

Kuleba said in the interview that while he is grateful for Western support, the rhetoric of Kyiv's partners does not always match their actions. He noted he is "tired" of discussing Taurus missiles, the long-range weaponry that Germany persistently refuses to provide.

According to Ukraine's foreign minister, delays or constraints in weapons supplies undermine Kyiv's defense efforts and cause it to lose ground. This creates a vicious circle where Ukraine's losses convince allies of the futility of providing "game-changing weapons," Kuleba said.

Ukraine finds itself in an increasingly precarious position in the war as Russia ramps up pressure along the front. Last month, Russian forces captured the key front-line city of Avdiivka, their first major win since conquering Bakhmut last May. Ammunition shortages, namely in artillery shells, contributed to the loss of the city.

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Russia launched a fresh wave of missile and drone attacks against Ukraine between March 21-25, hitting the country’s critical infrastructure heavier than ever before. Some 190 missiles, 140 Shahed-type drones, and 700 aerial bombs pounded the country over the past week, President Volodymyr Zelensky…
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