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US to provide Ukraine with more air defense systems, ammunition following upsurge in Russian attacks

by Kate Tsurkan May 31, 2023 9:42 PM 2 min read
John Kirby, White House national security council spokesperson, speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 21, 2023. (Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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U.S. National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby announced during a White House press briefing on May 31 that the U.S. would provide Ukraine with more air defense in response to Russia's upsurge of attacks over the past month.

The U.S. will provide additional ammunition for the Patriot air defense system, "which Ukraine has been deploying quite effectively," Kirby said.

Ukraine's Air Force confirmed in early May that the Patriot air defense system was used to successfully shoot down a Russian Kh-47 Kinzhal ballistic missile for the first time since the start of the war.

Avenger air defense systems, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, and additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, also known as HIMARS, were also included in the new package, according to Kirby.

"The United States is going to continue to support Ukraine and help give them the things that they need to better defend themselves," Kirby said, adding that this latest defense package would be "the 39th drawdown of equipment from the Department of Defense inventories using presidential drawdown authorities."

Russia launched 17 attacks against Kyiv in May, with three attacks unfolding over the course of 24 hours on May 30. The shelling of cities and villages located in oblasts along the Russian border also continues on a near-daily basis.

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