NewsUkraine's air defense may fail by end of March, posing heightened risk

Ukraine's air defense may fail by end of March, posing heightened risk

Ukrainian air defense on the Bakhmut section of the front
Ukrainian air defense on the Bakhmut section of the front
Images source: © Foto. FORUM | RFE/RL/Serhii Nuzhnenko / Reuters / Forum

4:08 AM EDT, March 17, 2024

Ukrainian cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to extensive Russian missile and drone attacks as Kyiv's army might deplete its air defense ammunition by the end of March, according to "The Washington Post".

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This concerning situation was shared by Ukrainian officials with their European and American counterparts at a security conference last month, as reported by the American newspaper.

Until now, Ukraine has had the capacity to intercept four out of every five missiles aiming for its cities. However, this rate might soon drop to merely intercepting one out of five, as informed by one of the officials. The potential decline in missile defense effectiveness poses a dire threat to the relative normalcy that many Ukrainian cities have started to experience again, thanks to the previously efficient missile defense systems.

Regrettably, an increase in missile supplies for Ukrainian air defenses is anticipated only after the US Congress sanctions military aid for Kyiv. This process has been stalled for weeks due to political stalemates in Washington. While the Senate has passed the necessary bill, it is currently held up in the House of Representatives by Republican opposition.

A devastating attack in Odessa

A recent indicator of the weakening Ukrainian air defenses could be the severe repercussions of a Russian missile strike on Odessa last Friday. The attack, carried out with Iskander missiles, resulted in the destruction of residential buildings, claiming 21 lives and injuring another 70.

Moreover, there have been reports last week of Ukraine losing a Patriot air defense system.

Source: "The Washington Post"/PAP

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