ua en ru

Foreign Minister argues why Ukraine urgently needs extra Patriot systems

Foreign Minister argues why Ukraine urgently needs extra Patriot systems Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba (Getty Images)

The need for additional air defense systems, especially the Patriot system, is crucial for Ukraine amid the increased intensity of Russian aerial attacks with ballistic missiles, says Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, at an online briefing for international media.

Kuleba notes Russia has intensified its aerial terror against Ukraine, launching 190 missiles of various types, 140 Shahed drones, and 700 guided aerial bombs on Ukrainian territory between March 18 and March 24 alone.

"The particular feature of the current Russian attacks is the intensive use of ballistic missiles, which can reach targets at extremely high speeds, leaving little time for people to find shelter and causing significant destruction," the minister said.

He also pointed out that several countries in the world possess Patriot systems. According to him, these systems can and should be transferred to Ukraine as soon as possible, calling on partners to find the necessary political will.

"Ukraine is currently the only country in the world that experiences ballistic missile attacks almost daily. Patriots must be deployed here, in Ukraine, to protect real human lives rather than remaining in places where the missile threat is zero," stressed Kuleba.

He outlined three critically important outcomes that strengthening Ukrainian air defense would bring.

"First and foremost, a powerful Ukrainian air defense will save thousands of human lives, which is the primary goal. Patriots and similar systems are defensive by definition. They are designed to protect lives, not take them," the minister noted.

Secondly, he stated that a strong Ukrainian air defense would save a significant amount of resources for the partners.

"Every area covered by Patriots means less destruction of critical infrastructure and less money spent on reconstruction, every city reliably defended by Patriots means thousands of Ukrainians returning from abroad, strengthening the Ukrainian economy and reducing its dependence on foreign financial assistance," added the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Thirdly, as Kuleba pointed out, a powerful air defense will cover Ukrainian troops and allow them to turn the tide of the war in favor of Ukraine. Currently, Russia's main advantage on the battlefield is the widespread use of guided aerial bombs.

"These bombs, weighing on average from 500 to 1500 kilograms, allow Russian occupiers to destroy targets with strikes and advance through the ruins. The only way to counter this barbaric tactic is to shoot down the planes dropping these bombs, which requires an adequate number of modern air defense systems on the front lines. Strong air defense at the forefront would not only prevent our troops from losing positions but also force the Russians to retreat," the minister added.

Air defense systems for Ukraine

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukraine's allies have been providing air defense systems.

Ukrainian defenders have already received Patriot and SAMP-T surface-to-air missile systems, which can intercept ballistic and hypersonic missiles of the occupiers.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that another ten Patriot systems from allies could fundamentally change the situation in the war.

Recently, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba discussed with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, the possibilities of strengthening Ukraine's air defense systems.