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Zelenskyy: Ukraine needs 25 Patriot systems for full air defense protection

He said it could seem like a big amount, but Ukraine is a big country
US Patriots in Ukraine intercept 15 Russian hypersonic missiles
MIM-104 Patriot air defence system. Photo: Depositphotos
Zelenskyy: Ukraine needs 25 Patriot systems for full air defense protection

Speaking in an interview with Ukraine’s national newscast, President Zelenskyy revealed that Ukraine requires 25 Patriot air defense systems, each consisting of 6-8 batteries, to fully protect the country’s airspace.

This admission comes on the heels of Ukraine’s request for Patriot systems at a NATO summit in Brussels as Ukraine reels under Russian ballistic missiles and guided aerial bombs it is currently unable to intercept.

“I won’t tell you how many Patriot systems we have, but I can say how many are needed to cover Ukraine for the future,” Zelenskyy said, adding that Ukraine’s partners are well aware of this requirement and even know the locations where these systems should be deployed.

According to Zelenskyy, alternatives to the Patriot system are also suitable for Ukraine, although there are very few of them.

He noted that the results of Ukraine’s air defense work are impressive, making it seem as if there are many systems in place, but this is not the case. “Therefore, to fully cover our state, even those regions where there are no strikes, we need 25 Patriot systems,” he emphasized.

When asked about Ukraine’s stock of missiles for air defense and the risk of the energy system being “completely knocked out,” Zelenskyy said, “[the Russians] will continue to target our energy system; it is their desire. I believe that we will be able to get through this.”

He explained that many energy facilities have been protected by air defense and other levels of protection, but there are missiles against which these protective systems do not work, referring to Ukraine’s lack of capacities for shooting down ballistic missiles.

Zelenskyy stressed that the intensity of Russian attacks is currently quite high. “We have a stock of air defense today, but I believe that we should think about what will happen tomorrow. If they continue to strike with the same intensity as the last month, we may not have enough missiles, and our partners are also aware of this,” the president noted.

  • At the end of February, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the transfer of ten Patriot systems to Ukraine would have a dramatic impact on the situation in the war with Russia. In an interview with CBS News in late March, Zelenskyy said that the United States had not yet transferred Patriot systems to Ukraine; the systems it has came from other countries.
  • Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba explained that the issue of the discussion with supplying more Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine lies in how to redeploy these systems in Western countries to free up several batteries.

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