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Putin’s Warning: Russia Says U.S. Patriot Missiles Would be Fair Game

Patriot Missile
Patriot Missile. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin.

This week the Biden Administration has been finalizing plans to send the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) system to Ukraine.

The Pentagon’s plan will still need to be approved by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin before it is sent to the president’s desk for final signoff, but approval could be announced this week.

Kyiv has called upon Washington to supply the advanced long-range air defense system as Ukraine’s urban centers and critical infrastructure have been targeted by Russian missiles and drone attacks.

The ongoing strikes have led to vast swaths of the country being left without electricity or running water.

The MIM-104 Patriot would be the most effective long-range defensive weapon platform sent to aid Ukraine, while U.S. officials said it could help secure the airspace and thus protect NATO nations in Eastern Europe.

What are Patriot Missiles?

The Patriot system was developed in the 1970s to counter Soviet missiles. It uses an advanced aerial interceptor missile and high-performance radar systems. The MIM-104 gained prestige during the Persian Gulf War of 1991 with the claimed engagement of over 40 Iraqi Scud missiles. It is now employed by the armed forces of several NATO members including the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Greece, and Spain; as well as with the militaries of Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Taiwan, and Qatar.

The Patriot is expected to remain in operation until at least 2040.

Russia’s Response: Fair Game!

The Kremlin has already fired back that it would view the missile-defense system as a legitimate target if it is supplied to Ukraine.

Moreover, Russia signaled that it would not intend to cease its missile strikes even in the face of such superior weaponry.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that any Patriot batteries would absolutely be fair game for a strike.

“Certainly,” Peskov responded when asked whether the Kremlin shared the point of view expressed by Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council that these systems would become legitimate targets.

“I would refrain from comment for now, though, because these are just media reports. Nowadays, media reports are an unreliable thing. Let us wait for some official information,” Peskov added.

Dragging Out the War?

Russian officials have also expressed frustration that Ukraine has only been able to hold out during the past 10 months of the war because of the weaponry, logistics, and general military support that it is receiving from the U.S. and other NATO members.

The Kremlin has even suggested that western aid, including large-scale arms supplies to Kyiv, would only drag out the conflict in Ukraine and hinder the possibility of a negotiated settlement to the conflict, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly told Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a phone call earlier this month that “the destructive policy of Western countries…pumping the Kyiv regime with weapons and training the Ukrainian military…as well as their comprehensive political and financial support for Ukraine, leads Kyiv to reject any idea of negotiations.”

Perhaps if Russia were to stop the fighting, peace talks could occur. 

A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.



  1. Tamerlane

    December 15, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    Peace talks cannot occur without the issues which compelled the conflict being resolved. These include for Russia, a legal guarantee that Ukraine will not be admitted to NATO, and the security/autonomy of the Oblasts in eastern Ukraine. My review of the situation over some twenty-five (25) years leads me to conclude that the first is a non-negotiable red-line for Russia, but the second perhaps can be maleable.

  2. Rick

    December 15, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    Comrade Tamerlane, The only solution is to destroy russia by putting them in such dire shape that they will never be able to threaten anyone ever again. Putin will not dictate what Ukraine or anyone else does in their own country. This war and his humiliation will be his Waterloo.

    Go back to your troll farm.

  3. Infantry Grunt

    December 15, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    The only issue that “compelled” Putin to invade Ukraine was Putin’s delusion of being the reincarnation of Peter The Great and establishing a neo-Soviet empire starting with Ukraine. Putin has publicly stated that he never accepted the fall of the Soviet Union and that Ukraine has always been part of Russia. When he could not make Ukraine into another puppet state like Belarus, he launched a proxy war in Donbass and then invaded Crimea under the weak & feckless Obama/Biden regime.

    In fact, NATO has been on the de facto doorstep of Russia ever since the Cold War began and continuing with the admittance of Poland and the Baltic states. Now Putin’s egomania & greed have given him a war that he can’t win and two more NATO nations on his border.

    Putin is a saber-rattling genocidal butcher like Kim Jong Un, but he is not suicidal enough to use nukes. So, this is the opportune moment to defang Russia, which has proven to be just another 3rd world dictatorship along with NoKo, India, Pakistan, and China.

  4. Serhio

    December 16, 2022 at 2:24 am

    Tell me, are these the same “Patriot” who could not protect Saudi Arabia’s oil fields from Yemeni missiles and drones? The video from the burning factories of Saudi Arabia was fascinatingly beautiful, but it is unlikely that the Saudis counted on a beautiful picture on TV when they bought these systems from the United States.

  5. aldol11

    December 16, 2022 at 5:00 am

    Good luck with that

  6. TheDon

    December 16, 2022 at 7:07 am

    Lets face it.
    Zelenski should put an order to take out shorty.
    Putin failed. I think Ukrainians should return the favor.
    Get out or die.
    Worked for tito.

  7. Cheburator

    December 16, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Wake up, what a superior weapon? the Patriot installations according to the Russian classification are medium-range air defense, i.e. the analogue of the Patriot is not the C300 / C400, but the cheaper SA-17 Grizzly.
    I’ll tell you a secret – at the beginning of the war, Ukraine had a better air defense system than the entire European NATO put together. and all of a sudden, in order for a patriot to play at least some role, hundreds of launchers must be delivered to Ukraine (for example, less than 100 launchers are deployed in Europe).
    And given the number of missile launches by Russia, the United States may face a shortage of missiles for the Patriots, how many missile launches has Russia made since the start of the war? – 5000, how many missiles have been produced for the patriots since the start of the production of the complexes?
    Even if the US wins new defense contracts, when will the new missiles arrive?

  8. H.R. Holm

    December 20, 2022 at 4:01 am

    Yeh, for Rick: “Destroy Russia”, and how do we do that short of nuclear confligration? Sanctions? Are you kidding? Sanctions on Russia are a complete bust. Moscow groceries are stocked with all sorts of foods, and many at probably half the price of what Americans are currently paying. Russia continues to sell its oil on non-Western markets without problem. The ruble has more than recovered its lost value. We need peace thru negociations, and it is needed *now*. Enough war-rooting action and talk by your NATO/US chickenhawk worthless politicians.

  9. H.R. Holm

    December 20, 2022 at 4:23 am

    This only escalates and exacerbates the situation, and Pathetic Joe only continues to play macho by upping the ante with advanced missiles. Guess he needs some distraction from his problems with Hunter-boy, or maybe he and boy-Hunt are just tired of sitting in some secret room in the White House and hysterically tossing around their ill-gotten millions of dollars from Ukraine and China in the air, a-la Scrooge McDuck. (Wonder how much of it they put into their snowflake pajama-boy donor Sam Bankman’s not-take-it-to-the-bank crypto scam. Hopefully a lot.) So now Joe gives his best imitation frown of ventriloquist Jeff Dunham’s dummy Walter (Joe and Walter have so much in common), and then doubles down on his ‘saving democracy in Ukraine’ phony meme by promising even more U.S. Treasury and military bottomless piggie-bank goodies to Lord Voldemort (yeh I spelled that right) in Kiev. Wonder if Joe’s other big buddy WEF honcho Klaus ‘Emperor Palpatine’ Schwab told him to do so.

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