Ukraine needs at least seven Patriot air defence systems, Zelenskiy tells NATO

By Thomson Reuters Apr 19, 2024 | 10:39 AM

KYIV (Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told NATO members on Friday that Ukraine needed a minimum of seven Patriot or other high-end air defence systems to counter Russian air strikes, exhorting them to step up their military assistance for Kyiv.

In an emotional speech by video link to the NATO-Ukraine Council, the Ukrainian leader described the current level of foreign aid as “very limited” and said Israel had not been left to fend for itself during Iran’s massive air strike on Saturday.

“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin must be brought down to earth, and our sky must become safe again.. And it depends fully on your choice… (the) choice whether we are indeed allies,” Zelenskiy said in his speech.

Russia has increased its long-range bombardment of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and its cities in recent weeks, ratcheting up the pressure on Kyiv as Moscow’s more numerous and better equipped forces slowly advance on the battlefield in the east.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Yuliia Dysa; Editing by Gareth Jones)