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Ukrinform: Zelenskyy told Blinken Ukraine needs two Patriots to protect Kharkiv Oblast skies

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tells US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Patriot systems are Ukraine’s “biggest deficit,” especially highlighting the need to shield Kharkiv Oblast from relentless Russian attacks.
Patriot ukraine air defense
Patriot SAMs in Ukraine. Photo: Oleksiy Reznikov via X
Ukrinform: Zelenskyy told Blinken Ukraine needs two Patriots to protect Kharkiv Oblast skies

In a meeting in Kyiv with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized the urgent need for two Patriot air defense systems to protect northeastern Kharkiv Oblast, Ukrinform reports.

Several days ago, the Russian army intensified shelling in Kharkiv Oblast and started an offensive there, capturing some villages on the border with Russia.  The deployment of the Patriot air defense systems in the Kharkiv Oblast would significantly protect Ukraine’s airspace from destructive Russian missiles and possibly aerial bombs.

Zelenskyy noted to Blinken that the people of Kharkiv Oblast are under constant Russian attacks and are worried about their safety, making the acquisition of the Patriot systems a top priority.

“This is our biggest deficit. I think this is the biggest problem,” the President said as per Ukrinform.

Zelenskyy stressed the importance of receiving the package of assistance as quickly as possible, according to Ukrinform.

Last month, the White House approved the long-stalled $61 billion military aid to Ukraine including artillery, long-range missiles (ATACMS), and air defense interceptors. Antony Blinken announced that the US assistance is now “on the way” to Ukraine to bolster Ukrainian defense amid intensified Russian assaults. His visit to Ukraine demonstrates US continued support to Ukraine in its war against Russia.

Earlier this month, the US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced that a forthcoming $61 billion US military aid package to Ukraine will help prevent further Russian territorial advances in 2024 and support a Ukrainian counteroffensive in 2025.

On 14 May, Russians shelled Kharkiv, injuring four people, according to the head of Kharkiv Oblast. The Russian army also shelled more than 30 settlements in Kharkiv Oblast. Volunteers evacuated thousands of people from the affected areas. Russians mounted an assault on Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast,  achieving tactical success, but the fighting for the city persists.

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