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The Times: Ukrainian soldiers say they lack air defense firepower to stop Russian airstrikes

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 22, 2023 3:32 PM 2 min read
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Ukrainian soldiers told the Times they were running low on air defense ammunition, while  Russian troops have recently started to send more helicopters and aircraft to attack Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Air Force has recently warned that emboldened Russians may use more airstrikes,  previously kept at bay by the deadly Ukrainian air defense weapons.  

Ukraine's dire situation with ammunition could help Russian forces take control of the sky, soldiers told the Times.

The  Pentagon documents leaked online in April revealed that the U.S. expects Ukraine to run out of its primary air defense missiles in May unless it gets a lot more ammunition very quickly.

Ukraine’s air defenses have been worn out by a winter of regular missile and drone barrages.

The Air Force said that Russia was modifying its bombs to make them guided, extending their range and allowing bombers to deal precise strikes.

Russians are improving their jamming capabilities, using systems soldiers believe have recently arrived from China, according to the Times.

Ukraine's Air Force warned on April 8 of increasing airstrikes by Russia and renewed the call for allies to supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Ukraine has repeatedly appealed to its Western allies for F-16 fighter jets to protect its airspace from Russian attacks and strengthen its upcoming counteroffensive. However, Western allies have so far rejected the idea.

A statement released by the White House on March 17 indicated that Poland's decision to send Soviet MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine would not sway the U.S. decision to withhold F-16s, which U.S. President Joe Biden has deemed "unnecessary" for Ukraine's current defense needs.

Critics argue that allies’ refusal to supply F-16, Typhoon, and Dassault fighter jets and long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine could prevent Kyiv from launching a counteroffensive and liberating the rest of Ukrainian territory. Ukraine’s lack of advanced aircraft and missiles will likely prolong Russia’s war of aggression.

Explainer: What we learned from Pentagon leak and why it matters
A major U.S. intelligence leak exposed very detailed reports about Ukraine and its war effort. The documents detail the strength of Ukraine’s counteroffensive buildup, the U.S.’s doubt that it will go very far, Ukraine’s approaching vulnerability to air attacks, the sad state of the Russian
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