(Kyiv) Ukraine has received the first American Patriot air defense systems and French AMX-10 light battle tanks are already on the battlefield, Ukrainian authorities announced on Wednesday, as Kyiv says it is preparing a counterattack. – major offensive.
“Today our beautiful Ukrainian skies are becoming safer, because Patriot air defense systems have arrived in Ukraine,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov tweeted, thanking the United States, the Germany and the Netherlands for “keeping their word”.
Washington had pledged in mid-December, during Volodymyr Zelensky’s historic visit to the United States, to provide its sophisticated Patriot air defense system, just as Russia was pounding Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
This system will “significantly” strengthen the Ukrainian defense against Russian attacks, the Ukrainian president rejoiced at the time, assuring that this equipment would only be used “defensively” and not to strike Russian territory.
In the process, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his army would find an “antidote” to circumvent this advanced system.
On January 20, the Netherlands announced that it would supply Ukraine with “ two launchers ” Patriot and the interceptor missiles that go with them, as part of a “ joint delivery ” with the United States and the Germany.
Berlin had committed to supplying one of these systems on January 5.
The Ukrainian army also announced on Wednesday that it had deployed French AMX-10 light combat tanks, used in particular for “reconnaissance missions”, without specifying the number.
The United States is leading an international campaign to help Ukraine, having quickly assembled a coalition of dozens of countries to support Kyiv since the Russian invasion began in February 2022.
In addition to the Patriot systems, the West has planned to supply Kyiv with tanks in particular to help it carry out a counter-offensive in the coming months with the aim of reconquering the occupied territories in the east and south.
For its part, Moscow has repeatedly denounced Washington’s interventionism, believing that NATO, led by the American rival, was waging a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.