President Zelensky said air defense systems are a top priority for Ukraine, adding that the US and Germany have not yet delivered the promised complexes.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today held a press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the capital Kiev, saying that the country highly values the role of air defense systems and considers it a top priority in efforts to defend cities and towns from Russian air attacks.
Zelensky said that Ukraine has not received a positive response from Israel about the possibility of providing air defense systems, while the systems promised to be delivered by the US and Germany have not yet reached the Ukrainian military.
US, German and Israeli officials have not commented on the report.
The German government announced on August 23 that it would provide more than $500 million in military aid to Ukraine, including three IRIS-T SLM medium-range air defense systems. Each complex includes a command vehicle, a radar station and three launchers with up to 24 combat-ready ammunition, with a maximum range of 40 km.
On July 1, the Pentagon announced that the United States would transfer two Norwegian Advanced Air Defense Systems (NASAMS) complexes to Ukraine.
NASAMS was developed by Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace of Norway and Raytheon of the US, started to be put into service in 1998 and is serving in the militaries of 9 countries. This system uses AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, with a range of about 25-30 km and high accuracy, and is capable of firing all missile models used on NATO fighters.
Ukraine recently launched a counter-offensive in the northeastern province of Kharkov and regained control of many territories, while the operation in the southern province of Kherson was stopped by Russia. The US-based Institute for the Study of War said the counter-offensive campaign in the northeast had “turned the tide in Ukraine’s favor, but it was not able to end hostilities”.
Ukrainian officials claimed to have regained more than 6,000 square kilometers of territory since early September and expressed joy at the progress made, while Western officials expressed caution over the news.
US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on September 13 that Russia faces many challenges in Ukraine, but the country’s military remains “very large and powerful”.
“Russia still has a military force capable of causing great damage. We can see what effect this has in Ukraine. The Russian military is very large and powerful. President Vladimir Putin still has a lot to do. reserve military capacity, not only in Ukraine but possibly elsewhere,” he said.
The Kremlin said on September 12 that the operation would continue until its goals were achieved, ruling out the possibility of peace talks. The Russian army then announced a massive attack on Ukrainian forces on all fronts, causing many casualties and damage to the enemy.
Vu Anh (Theo Reuters)