According to the military minister of Ukraine, American-made Patriot missiles have arrived in the nation, giving Kyiv a long-needed new defense against Russian bombings that have wreaked havoc on cities and civilian infrastructure.
In October, the U.S. agreed to provide surface-to-air missiles capable of hitting planes, cruise missiles, and shorter-range ballistic missiles like those that Russia has employed to shell Ukrainian power infrastructure and residential areas.
Oleksii Reznikov, the defense minister, tweeted that “today, our beautiful Ukrainian sky becomes more secure.”
As Ukraine prepares for an anticipated counteroffensive, Western allies have also promised to contribute missiles in addition to tanks, artillery, and some types of fighter planes.
Reznikov expressed gratitude to the US, Germany, and the Netherlands but omitted to mention the quantity or timing of the given missile systems.
The systems’ arrival would be a historic occasion, according to Yurii Ihnat, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian air force, who claimed late on Tuesday that it would enable Ukrainians to hit Russian targets at a longer range.
On Tuesday, a Patriot system was mentioned as one of the military supplies supplied to Ukraine in the previous week on the federal government of Germany’s website. That was verified to parliamentarians in Berlin on Wednesday by the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock.
According to Baerbock, Germany has also delivered the second of its four medium-range IRIS-T air defense systems.
Reznikov said he initially requested Patriot systems in August 2021, seven years after Russia’s illegitimate annexation of the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine and five months before its full-scale invasion.
He called owning the system “a dream” but claimed that at the time, he was informed in the U.S. that it was “impossible.”
The Patriot battery, which takes up to 90 people to operate and maintain, has been taught to Ukrainian forces.
“Our air defense personnel has fully mastered our air defense systemsonnel. Moreover, our allies have honored their commitments, Reznikov added.
Although it will increase Ukraine’s arsenal, experts have cautioned that the system’s efficacy is limited and may not dramatically alter how the battle plays out.