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FM Kuleba decries Ukraine’s lack of air defense after deadly Chernihiv attack

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba highlighted the country’s insufficient air defense capabilities following a Russian missile strike that killed 13 and injured over 60 in Chernihiv on April 17
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Credit: Oksana Parafeniuk for The Washington Post
FM Kuleba decries Ukraine’s lack of air defense after deadly Chernihiv attack

The lack of sufficient air defense capabilities in Ukraine resulted in the death of the “innocent people,” Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba wrote on X following the Russian attack on Chernihiv on 17 April.

Russian troops laucnhed an attack on Chernihiv with three missiles on the morning of 17 April, killing 13 people and injuring over 60, including three children.

“Three days ago in the Middle East, we saw what reliable protection of human lives from missiles looks like,” Kuleba wrote, referring to the massive air attack Iran launched against Israel on 14 April.

Iran launched a massive attack on Israel on 14 April and launched 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles, and 120 ballistic missiles. About 99% of which were downed by Israel and its allies outside Israeli airspace.

The US White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said on 15 April that the United States has no plans to directly engage in shooting down Iranian kamikaze drones in Ukraine, as it did.

In his evening address on 15 April, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy questioned why Western allies could swiftly defend Israel’s skies against Iranian missile attacks but fail to provide the same level of protection to Ukraine.

Kuleba said “Ukraine’s partners have the necessary means to help us save Ukrainian lives with the same level of efficiency.”

Russia has increased the size and the scale of the attacks on Ukraine since last month, which caused power outages and civilian deaths due to Ukraine’s lack of air defense systems.

WP reported, citing Kuleba, that Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry found over 100 available Patriots that its allies have. President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine needs 26 to create a total air shield over Ukraine, but “Kuleba is initially focused on obtaining seven as quickly as possible.”

Kuleba reportedly held talks with allies and said on 13 April that Germany decided to hand over one Patriot defense system.

Kuleba wrote on X that he would “urge other partners to follow suit during the meetings with G7 allies in Italy this week.”

Read also:

“Shaheds sound the same”: Zelenskyy calls for equal air defense support

UK’s Cameron says UK doesn’t down Russia drones in Ukraine, fearing escalation

EU Foreign Ministers to discuss Ukraine’s defense needs in Luxembourg

Zelenskyy: Ukraine ran out of missiles to protect Trypilska station

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