Germany to send additional Patriot system to Ukraine

FRANKFURT, GERMA­NY   -   Germany will send an additional Pa­triot air defence system to Ukraine to bolster its hard-pressed military and help it fend off increased Russian aerial attacks, Berlin said Saturday. “Russian terror against Ukrainian cities and the country’s infrastructure is causing immeasurable suf­fering,” said German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, an­nouncing the move. “It is jeopardising people’s ener­gy supply and destroying the operational readiness of the Ukrainian armed forces.” It will be the third Patriot sys­tem that Berlin has supplied to Kyiv, with the defence ministry saying the decision was taken at the request of the Ukrainian government and in coordination with al­lies. The announcement comes as Kyiv struggles on the battlefield against Mos­cow’s forces, hobbled by a lack of foreign aid, as well as a shortage of men and am­munition. Russia has been stepping up aerial attacks on Ukraine. On Thursday Mos­cow pounded the country’s energy facilities, destroying a power station in the Kyiv region. After the outbreak of the Ukraine war in 2022, Germany dropped a tradi­tionally pacifist stance and has become Ukraine’s sec­ond-biggest supplier of mil­itary aid, after the United States. However, a key pack­age of US aid for Kyiv has been held up due to political squabbling in Congress. As well as Patriots, Berlin has supplied a wide array of oth­er armaments, ranging from artillery to armoured fight­ing vehicles. The defence ministry said the handover of the new Patriot system from German military stocks would begin immediately. Despite Germany delivering billions of euros of military supplies to Ukraine, Chancel­lor Olaf Scholz has come un­der fire in recent months for refusing to allow the supply of long-range Taurus mis­siles. Germany fears the mis­siles could be used to hit tar­gets deep within Russia.

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