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17 Mar, 2024 12:52

Ukraine running out of air defense missiles – WaPo

Kiev’s forces will soon be able to target only one in five incoming Russian projectiles, the paper has reported
Ukraine running out of air defense missiles – WaPo

Ukraine has told its Western backers that munitions for some of its air defense systems could be almost used up by the end of March, the Washington Post has reported, citing US officials.

According to the sources, representatives of Kiev made the warning during a security conference last month, the paper wrote in an article on Friday.

Ukrainian forces, which previously managed to shoot down four out of every five missiles fired by Russia, may soon be able to target only one in five, one of the officials claimed.

The lack of air defense missiles is going to “have a significant effect on life in Ukraine’s urban centers,” the source said.

Russia has been carrying out a large-scale missile and drone campaign against Ukrainian military targets, defense-industrial complex facilities and critical infrastructure since the fall of 2022. Russia Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said previously that the aim of the attacks was to “crush Ukraine’s military potential.”

On Wednesday, the Defense Ministry in Moscow said that a US-supplied Patriot air defense system had been destroyed by Russian forces in Ukraine’s Kharkov Region. Last week, it published a video of a successful strike on a Soviet-era S-300 air defense system deployed by Ukraine in Russia’s People’s Republic of Donetsk.

The US officials who talked to WaPo warned of “catastrophic breakdown of Ukrainian lines in the grimmest contingency and the likelihood of massive casualties in the best” if Kiev does not get more military assistance from Washington.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has been trying to push through another $60 billion in assistance for Ukraine since October last year, but has so far been unable to break the resistance of hardline Republicans, who are demanding increased funding to secure the border with Mexico.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons to Kiev by the US, EU and their allies will not prevent it from achieving the goals of its military operation and will only prolong the fighting, and may increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to Russian officials, the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing, and training of Ukrainian troops means that Western nations have already become de-facto parties to the conflict.