Frustrated by shortage of air defenses, Ukraine's FM Kuleba pleads for seven Patriot batteries ASAP
Dmytro Kuleba (Photo: EPA)

Ukraine hopes to receive at least seven Patriot batteries from partners and allies as soon as possible to strengthen its defenses, said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, in an interview with The Washington Post.

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Kuleba's team has identified more than 100 available Patriots -- some neighboring countries have more than one battery guarding a port or airfield.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy previously stated that Ukraine needs 25 to create a complete air shield over Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities are even considering the possibility of a loan for Patriot systems.

Ukraine's top diplomat expressed his disappointment in the lack of quick reaction of the allies and emphasized the need to involve all possible resources to protect Ukraine from aggression.

"I feel myself hitting the wall with my own head, although I’m a diplomat, and that means I have to dismantle the wall brick by brick. But since this kind of diplomacy doesn’t work, I feel like hitting the wall. I just don’t understand why it’s not happening", said Kuleba.

The official thanked Washington for the weapons, but said: "Do you sincerely believe that the whole U.S. Army does not have one spare battery of Patriots that is not on combat duty and that cannot be given to Ukraine? I don’t."

Kuleba stressed that the problem now is that "people just got used to the war happening somewhere out there."

"The feeling that extraordinary decisions are needed on a regular basis to end this war with a victory for Ukraine is gone," the diplomat concluded.

On April 10, EU High Representative Josep Borrell said that the EU is not doing enough to protect Ukraine from Russian attempts to destroy cities with missiles and guided bombs, and therefore should urgently provide the country with more air defense equipment and ammunition. In particular, because the European army has about 100 Patriot batteries.

Overnight on April 11, air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine as Russia launched drone and missile attacks.

Russia utilized MiG-31K jets to fire Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missiles at targets in Rivne, Kyiv, western Ukraine and Lviv.

Explosions rocked Kharkiv the next morning during widespread strikes on regional infrastructure, interrupting power and subway services for several hours with around 10 hits on the city's critical systems.