The Pentagon set to send Patriot missile systems to Ukraine, according to US officials

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By Sasha Vakulina
Kyiv, Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine   -  Copyright  Evgeniy Maloletka/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved

Attacks on Kyiv

No victims and no damage to any energy facilities as Russia launched another drone attack on Kyiv on Wednesday morning.

Two city administrative buildings in central Kyiv have been damaged by ‘debris’ from a drone, as Ukrainian air defence shot down 13 drones over the capital in morning attacks.

Attacks from Russian missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles over the past two months have destroyed key infrastructure across Ukraine and Kyiv has repeatedly asked Western allies to send advanced long-range air defense systems.

USA Patriot missile systems

US officials stated that the Pentagon is finalizing plans to send Patriot missile systems to Ukraine.

Patriot is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defence system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and advanced aircraft. 

It would be the most effective long-range defensive weapons system sent to the country to date and officials have said it will help secure airspace for NATO nations in Eastern Europe.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned NATO against providing Ukraine with Patriot missile systems and it is likely Moscow will view this move as an escalation.

Russia's ballistic missiles

Ukrainian intelligence reported that Russian forces are striking Ukraine with missiles that Ukraine transferred to Russia in the 1990's.

In a comment to The New York Times, a Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) representative said that Russian forces are using ballistic missiles and Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers that Ukraine transferred to Russia as part of the Budapest Memorandum, whereby Ukraine transferred its nuclear arsenal to Russia for decommissioning.

Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom committed in return to "respect the independence, sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine." This means Russia explicitly recognized that Crimea and areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions it occupied in 2014 were parts of Ukraine.

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