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Ukraine has deficit of anti-aircraft guided missiles – air force

In World
January 09, 2024

KYIV – Ukraine has a deficit of anti-aircraft guided missiles nearly two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion, Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said on Tuesday.

Ukraine has relied heavily on military and financial aid from its Western allies since the invasion in February 2022, but political wrangling has delayed the disbursement of major aid packages for this year.

Ihnat told Ukrainian television that Ukraine had used a “considerable reserve” of missiles defending itself against recent attacks, and added: “It is clear that there is a deficit of anti-aircraft guided missiles.”

Russia has stepped up missile and drone attacks on Ukraine in the past few weeks, firing hundreds of missiles and drones at Ukrainian cities far behind the frontline, Ukrainian officials have said.

In the latest strike this week, Russia fired 51 missiles of various types, killing at least four people and hitting civilian infrastructure, they said.

Ukraine said it shot down 18 of the cruise missiles that were fired, a much lower rate of interception than usual. Ukrainian officials attributed this to the large number of ballistic missiles fired by Russia as they are harder to intercept.

Ihnat said that he hoped that delays over Western aid packages would be resolved soon as Ukraine depended on Western supplies not only for air defence ammunition.

“We have more and more Western equipment today and, accordingly, it needs maintenance, repair, updating, replenishment, and corresponding ammunition,” he said.

Yehor Chernev, a lawmaker, told Ukrainian television that the government would discuss how to strengthen its air defences at a meeting with its NATO allies this week.

Ukrainian officials had warned that Russia was stockpiling missiles for more attacks during the critical cold months, hoping to inflict more damage on the energy grid after air strikes caused frequent power cuts last winter. REUTERS

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