Putin Is Preparing for Patriot Missiles to Arrive In Ukraine: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy teased major new developments in obtaining advanced air defense systems from Western allies last week during a nightly address to the nation.
His comments followed reports that the United States was considering sending Patriot missile systems to Ukraine, and during the Ukrainian president’s trip to Washington, D.C., this week, those plans were confirmed.
During a background press call on Tuesday, a senior White House official confirmed that President Joe Biden would announce the delivery of a new aid package worth almost $2 billion – since confirmed to be worth $1.85 billion – which would include Patriot missile systems.
“President Biden will announce a significant new package of nearly $2 billion of security assistance for Ukraine. It will contain a very important new capability: a Patriot missile battery, which will be a critical asset to defend the Ukrainian people against Russia’s barbaric attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure,” the official said, adding that the U.S. military intends to train Ukrainian troops on how to operate the system in a third country.
“This will take some time, but Ukrainian troops will take that training back to their country to operate this battery.”
The White House also confirmed that other forms of air defense will still be provided to Ukraine, including HAWKs, Stingers, NASAMS, and counter-UAV equipment.
Soon after the delivery of these new, advanced missile systems to Ukraine was confirmed, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed confidence that they would not change the dynamics of the war.
What Putin Said
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin played down the threat of Patriot missiles and insisted that the delivery of new weapons to Ukraine would not stop Russia from achieving its military goals in Ukraine.
Putin even argued that the Patriot system was “old” – a statement some might describe as ironic given Russia’s increasing reliance on decades-old ammunition.
“The Patriot air defence is outdated. An antidote will always be found … Russia will knock down the Patriot system,” Putin said.
Putin’s public position on the delivery of Patriot missiles to Ukraine is markedly different from threats made by Kremlin officials earlier this month, however. When rumors of potential Patriot deliveries began to circulate, Russia warned of “consequences” if the plan went ahead, in a failed effort at deterring the United States from sending them. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also promised that Russian forces would “undoubtedly” target the systems if they arrive in Ukraine.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.
December 23, 2022 at 12:11 pm
Putin talks the talk but does not walk the walk
December 23, 2022 at 12:28 pm
Bold talk from putin never is accurate. He claimed to destroy more HIMARS than was sent to Ukraine, yet they are still wreaking havoc on drunk russian soldiers and their command posts.