Patriot air defense systems : The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has revealed that an air defense system supplied by a European country repeatedly malfunctioned and had to be replaced. However, he has not disclosed the name of the country that provided the system. Ukraine also acknowledged that the United States-made Patriot air defense systems have not yet been deployed, despite the US announcing in December 2022 that Ukraine would soon receive the systems. Germany and the Netherlands have also pledged to provide Ukraine with Patriot systems.
Patriot air defense systems
The President stated that Ukraine needs at least 20 Patriot batteries to defend against potential missile attacks from Russia, but acknowledged that this may not be sufficient. He also reiterated his appeal for modern fighter jets, stating that Ukraine lacks such advanced aircraft for military operations. Although Poland and Slovakia have offered Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine, Western countries are reluctant to offer modern western-made warplanes due to concerns that it could escalate the conflict.
Zelenskyy implied that Putin’s recent statement about moving tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus was a deliberate attempt to divert attention from Xi’s visit, which did not produce favorable outcomes. He cited Britain’s decision to provide more depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine as the reason for this move. The Ukrainian President emphasized that the pressure to give in to Putin’s demands would come from the international community and within Ukraine itself.
Zelenskyy warned that if Putin senses any weakness or vulnerability in Ukraine, he will continue to exert pressure and escalate the conflict further. He expressed concern that the ongoing conflict and its toll on Ukrainian society would eventually lead to fatigue and a desire for compromise with Russia. He stated that the public could pressure him to seek a settlement, even if it means making concessions that Ukraine is unwilling to make.
The eastern city of Bakhmut has been the site of a prolonged battle between Ukrainian and Russian forces for the past seven months. Despite some Western military analysts questioning the strategic value of defending the city and the high number of casualties suffered by Ukraine, Zelenskyy has argued that any loss in the war would provide Russia with an opportunity to gain the upper hand.