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Time for action: Ukraine calls for more Patriot air defense systems amid Russian offensive on Kharkiv

With Russian threats intensifying, Ukraine’s calls for more Patriot air defense systems gain momentum.
Vovchansk, Kharkiv Oblast, 11 May 2024. Photo: Suspilne Kharkiv
Time for action: Ukraine calls for more Patriot air defense systems amid Russian offensive on Kharkiv

Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, told Face the Nation on CBS that now is the time to make several bold decisions and provide Ukraine with more Patriot missile systems to strengthen the country’s air defense.

In recent months, Russian ballistic missile strikes have caused significant damage to half of Ukraine’s energy system. According to representatives of Ukrenergo, the country’s electricity transmission operator, Russians are attempting to achieve what they failed to complete in 2022-2023 – plunge Ukraine into darkness.

The company and experts believe that strengthening the country’s air defenses is the best way to protect Ukrainian thermal plants, power lines, and other energy facilities from Russian missiles, especially amid Russia’s renewed offensive in the northeastern and eastern parts of the country.

“We’re grateful to the US for looking for them, allowing them, funding some of them, but we need more, and it’s time to literally take some brave decisions and provide us with more of this so we can see them right away, where we need them,” claimed the ambassador.

However, Ukraine needs “at least two” in Kharkiv and its area. On 10 May, Russia renewed its offensive in the Kharkiv region, which resulted in the evacuation of 9907 civilians.

“But other places need to be protected as well,” said Markarova.

The ambassador also noted that Kyiv wants Ukrainian military drills to be conducted in Ukraine rather than in other countries.

“We would like to see more training being done in Ukraine so that not only we’re training our troops, but we are also becoming institutionally more strong, building there our army of the future, which will be protecting not just Ukraine, but all of us from Russia. So- yes, in- in training, it’s going to be one of the key discussions with the allies,” the official said.

Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that several additional Patriot air defense systems are needed to protect Kharkiv from Russian attacks.

Zelenskyy urged the world to help Kharkiv: two Patriot systems will fundamentally change the situation

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