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U.S. to Provide Aid to Ukraine with Patriot Missile Defense

Two U.S. officials claimed on Tuesday that the United States is on its way to finalizing plans to send the Patriot Missile defense to Ukraine to aid their defense against Russian drone and missile attacks. Defense secretary Lloyd J. Austin III is in the works of approving a directive by early next week to transfer at least one Patriot battery overseas to Ukraine. The shipment will then be awaiting final approval by President Biden. If approved, this will be one of the more sophisticated defense weapons the U.S. will have provided to Ukraine.


The Patriot Missile Defense system is considered one of the most advanced in the U.S. and is in short supply with many countries worldwide, who are also allies, competing for it. The Patriot is a system designed to shoot down airplanes and missiles, which Ukraine is searching for. With the attacks from Russia that continue to be ongoing for almost a year, the U.S. prioritizes sending defense systems to aid Ukraine.


With the volume of Russian missile strikes in Ukraine, the U.S. is reconsidering sending the Patriot. Ukraine has been pleading for aid by air defense systems from western allies as Russian drones and missiles are destroying Ukraine’s power systems. Over the weekend, Russian drones hit the southern part of the country in Odessa, causing more than 1.5 million people in the region, into darkness. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on how Russia’s missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy grid are creating a difficult situation where it would take days to restore the power to civilians.


Although there is no immediate response from Ukraine regarding the finalization of transferring the Patriot, President Zelensky’s office said there have been high-level military talks. Many U.S. officials are hesitant to sign the Patriot to be transferred to Ukraine because of its advanced technology and having to train the Ukrainian crews properly. One official said that the Ukrainian forces would train in Germany before the equipment gets sent to Ukraine. The training for this advanced equipment and its usage could take several months.


It is not immediately clear whether the U.S. would move Patriot systems that are already deployed to Europe or the Middle east to Ukraine or if there will be construction for new systems that could take years to arrive on the battlefield. The details of the version of the Patriot and how many units would be sent also remain undecided.


The addition of the Patriot defense system would be a significant aid to Ukraine’s air systems. The U.S. and its allies have been providing more air defense systems to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The Pentagon has said that Russia’s recent missile attacks in Kyiv were designed partly to use up their supply of air defenses.


To this day, The U.S. has contributed $19.3 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since the war began in February 2022. The decision to send the Patriot to Ukraine’s defense would signify the commitment the U.S. has to Ukraine’s military.





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Tags: #Ukraine#Russia#War#USA#defense#HelpUkraine#Standwithukraine


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