The United States has said it will provide an advanced Patriot air defence system to Ukraine to help it in the war with Russia. The Patriot, a surface-to-air missile system, is one of the most advanced that the US has provided to Ukraine so far.
The move is part of a USD 1.85 billion package of new military assistance to Ukraine as Vladimir Putin’s forces continue their assault on the country’s critical infrastructure. The war that began on February 24 this year is continuing through the winter bringing hardships to both sides.
According to media outlet NPR, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Antony Blinken, while announcing the latest aid to Ukraine, said: “Over the past three hundred days, the Kremlin has tried and failed to wipe Ukraine off the map. Now, Russia is trying to weaponize winter by freezing and starving Ukrainian civilians and forcing families from their homes.”
“In response, President Biden will announce today that the United States is providing critical new and additional military capabilities to help Ukraine defend itself from Russia’s ongoing brutal and unprovoked assault,” he was quoted as saying.
A Patriot missile costs around USD 3 million, which is three times more than the cost of a missile in a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAM). For the past several weeks, Ukraine has been operating two NASAM systems in the war against Russia, according to the BBC.
The White House in a briefing said: “The latest aid of Patriot missile system will be a critical asset to defend the Ukrainian people against Russia’s barbaric attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure.” While a dozen of US allies have been provided the patriot missile system for some time, the Ukraine is not among them. The Ukrainian forces will have to be trained in the operation of these missiles.
The latest move by the US will surely worry Russia as Kremlin was definitely hoping that the West’s commitment towards the Ukrainian cause would dissipate.