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Ukraine Receives American Patriot Guided Missile Systems

Story Highlights
  • The press office of Ukraine's Defense Ministry said that at least four people were killed and another 27 were hurt in Ukraine on April 18 and overnight.
  • The local military administration said that Russian troops used multiple rocket launchers to attack the border village of Richki in northern Ukraine.

On April 19, Ukraine’s Defense Minister said that his country had finally gotten the Patriot surface-to-air guided missile systems it had been wanting for a long time. Kyiv hopes that these systems will help protect it from Russian attacks during the war.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a tweet, “Today, our beautiful Ukrainian sky is safer because Patriot air defense systems have arrived in Ukraine.”

Ukrainian officials have said in the past that Washington’s decision in October to send Patriot systems would be a big boost and a turning point in the fight against Moscow’s full-scale attack. It’s the latest help from Kyiv’s Western friends, who have also promised tanks, artillery, and some types of fighter jets as Ukraine prepares for an expected counteroffensive.

China, on the other hand, says it won’t help Russia arm itself, even though Russia is one of China’s most important allies. On April 19, China denied rumors that Chinese drones had been found on battlefields in Ukraine.

The Commerce Ministry said in a statement that Beijing keeps tight control over the export of drones in line with international rules that prevent them from being used for non-peaceful purposes.

China has said many times that the U.S. and other countries’ backing for Ukraine is “adding fuel to the fire” of the war. The statement said that China has a “objective and fair stance” and wants peace.

The Patriot can shoot down planes, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles with shorter ranges. Russia has used these weapons to attack civilian areas and facilities in Ukraine, especially the power supply during the winter.

Yurii Ihnat, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Air Force, said late on April 18 that getting the system would be a big deal and let the Ukrainians hit Russian targets from farther away.

Mr. Reznikov thanked the people of the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands, but he didn’t say how many computers had been sent or when.

On April 18, the German government website said that a Patriot system was one of the military items sent to Ukraine in the last week, and on April 19, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told lawmakers in Berlin that this was true.

Ms. Baerbock also said that Germany had sent the second of four IRIS-T air defense weapons with a medium range that it had promised to send last year.

Reznikov said he first asked for Patriot systems when he went to the U.S. in August 2021, five months before the full-scale invasion by the Kremlin’s forces and seven years after Russia illegally took over Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. He said that having the system was “a dream” but that people in the U.S. told him at the time that it was “impossible.”

People from Ukraine have been trained to use and keep the Patriot battery, which can take up to 90 troops to run and fix.

“Our air defense teams have learned as much as they could about the Patriot weapons. “Our partners have done what they said they would do,” Mr. Reznikov wrote.

Experts have warned that the system’s usefulness is limited and that it may not be a game-changer in the war, even though it will add to Ukraine’s arsenal against its bigger enemy.

In the 1980s, the U.S. used the Patriot for the first time. Analysts say that each round costs about $4 million and that each rocket costs about $10 million. At this price, using the Patriot to shoot down the much smaller and cheaper Iranian drones that Russia has been buying and using in Ukraine is not a good idea.

Officials in Kyiv say that Russian bombing kills civilians every day, but not military people.

The press office of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said that at least four people were killed and another 27 were hurt in Ukraine on April 18 and overnight.

A Russian airstrike on a border town in the northeastern Kharkiv region killed a 50-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman, the region’s governor, Oleh Syniehubov, said in televised comments.

Oleksandr Prokudin, the governor of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, said that Russian troops launched 12 rocket, artillery, mortar, tank, and drone attacks there. One civilian was killed at a market in the center of Kherson, the region’s namesake capital, and a nearby school.

The local military administration said that Russian troops used multiple rocket launchers to attack the border village of Richki in northern Ukraine. One woman was killed and another was hurt.

At night, Russian troops also fired exploding drones at the southern Odesa region of Ukraine.

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