Kyiv said Wednesday it had received the first Patriots, seen as one of the most advanced US air defense systems, and deployed France’s light armored fighting vehicles as Ukraine prepares for a counteroffensive.
“Today, our beautiful Ukrainian sky becomes more secure because Patriot air defence systems have arrived in Ukraine,” Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Twitter.
He added that the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands had “kept their word.”
“Patriots” for patriots
Do you know how to visualize a dream? We must tell about it to the world and give it life! This is exactly what happened with the Patriots, even before the large-scale war, even before my appointment to the most important position of my life at the most… pic.twitter.com/m6H63erV6Z
— Oleksii Reznikov (@oleksiireznikov) April 19, 2023
Washington late last year said it would provide Ukraine with its Patriot air defense system as Russia pounded Ukraine’s energy infrastructure from the air.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said the system will “significantly” strengthen Ukraine’s defense against Russian strikes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the announcement at the time, saying Russia would find an “antidote.”
Germany announced in January that it was following the United States in sending one of the advanced missile defense batteries to Ukraine.
The Netherlands said it would supply parts of a Patriot air defense system to Ukraine, specifically two launchers and missiles.
Separately, the Ukrainian army said Wednesday that France’s light AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles were “already in service.”