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Germany unveils initiative to bolster Ukraine’s air defenses

The initiative is planned to enhance the capabilities of Ukraine’s air defenses amid intensified Russian attacks on energy infrastructure.
UKrainian soldiers down shahed kamikaze drones2
Ukrainian mobile fire unit shoots down Shahed kamikaze drones. Photo: Serhiy Naiev/TB. Illustrative photo.
Germany unveils initiative to bolster Ukraine’s air defenses

Former German Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Christofer Burger announced that the German government launched the “Needed Action Air Defence” initiative to encourage partners and allies to provide Ukraine with more air defense systems, according to UkrInform.

Last week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview for the Washington Post that Ukraine needs at least seven Patriot air defense systems to close skies from Russian missiles. Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine needs 26 to create a total air shield over Ukraine, but Kuleba is initially focused on obtaining seven as quickly as possible.

According to Christofer Burger, the German foreign affairs minister and defense minister are actively driving forward the “Needed Action Air Defence” initiative to bolster Ukrainian air defense.

Germany’s recent transfer of an additional Patriot system to Ukraine is intended to serve as a “stimulating” element for other Ukraine’s allies and partners. The issue will be further discussed during the next G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting and the 22 April meeting in Brussels.

The Patriot is the most powerful air defense system within the Ukrainian army, capable of intercepting ballistic and cruise missiles launched by Russian forces.

As German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated, before departing for Italy to attend the meeting of G7 Foreign Ministers, Germany would continue in the coming days calling on partners to find opportunities to provide additional air defense systems to Ukraine urgently.

“Regardless of the means of warfare Russia employs against Ukraine, we have been standing together against it for two years now: with unprecedented sanctions, a winter defense shield, joint efforts to ensure energy supply, and an increasingly extensive network of bilateral security commitments for Ukraine.

We and our partners worldwide must now be equally resolute in ensuring protection from Russian aerial terror.

Strengthening air defense is a matter of survival for thousands of people in Ukraine, and it is the best defense for our own security. It requires our total commitment,” stated Baerbock.

In turn, German defense ministry spokesman Arne Collatz agreed that the goal is to motivate other countries to swiftly find and send the necessary air defense systems to Ukraine. He noted that as Russia has increased the production of aviation bombs, the Ukrainian Armed Forces require as many long-range air defense assets as possible.

Collatz reminded that Germany has provided Ukraine with air defense systems, including Iris-T SLM, Gepard, and Skynex, for an extended period of time, but their range is insufficient, and practically the only system that can target aircraft capable of launching aviation bombs is the Patriot.

As reported, Germany, along with France, leads the so-called Air Defense Coalition within the “Rammstein” format. During a recent meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers, Annalena Baerbock called on NATO and EU members, as well as other countries, to supply Ukraine with a Patriot air defense system, which could be transferred to Ukraine by mediators.

On 17 April, Russian troops launched three missiles on the center of Chernihiv city, killing 17 people and injuring over 60, including three children.

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

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