The Russian embassy in Washington warned lawmakers of “unpredictable consequences” if the U.S. provides Ukraine with the Patriot air defense system.
Though no announcement has been made regarding a decision to send the advanced systems to Kyiv, there are numerous reports that one is forthcoming. Moscow reacted angrily to the possibility.
In a recent statement, the embassy called the potential deliveries “another provocative step by the administration” that could lead to “new crimes against civilians in Donbas, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.”
The embassy charged the U.S. will not only be further damaging Russian-American relations but also endangering global security.
The office added that the Zelenskyy regime will get a further “sense of impunity.”
If the administration and NATO countries decide to provide the Patriot systems to Ukraine, it will not be the first they’ve delivered. A pair of shipments of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System have already arrived.
Russia warns Biden there will be 'consequences' if US sends Patriot defense missile systems to Ukraine https://t.co/y42dAregei
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) December 16, 2022
However, the U.S.-made Patriots would represent a significant upgrade in technology. The system is considered the most advanced in the U.S. and NATO arsenal.
They are effective against enemy aircraft, cruise, and ballistic missiles — but will not be effective against Russia’s hypersonic missiles. The typical unit contains launchers accompanied by radar and other advanced systems.
Thus far, the U.S. has resisted Kyiv’s desire for the weapons on fears of the Kremlin seeing it as a significant escalation in the conflict. But Ukraine’s leaders continue to request the systems as Russia mounts more intensive strikes on the nation’s energy infrastructure ahead of winter.
There are many who believe the shipments are just a matter of time. In his nightly address on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his government is “preparing agreements that will strengthen our defense capabilities.”
Also on Wednesday, the Kremlin said that if the U.S. authorizes the Patriot missile defense systems to be sent to Kyiv, they will be legitimate military targets for Russia strikes.
The U.S. countered by arguing that Moscow’s recent increase in missile strikes in Ukraine targeted air defense systems.