First NATO country sends Ukraine powerful surface-to-air missiles to shoot down Russian planes and cruise missiles


An S-300 anti-aircraft missile is launched during a Greek Army military exercise near Chania on the island of Crete on December 13, 2013.

An S-300 anti-aircraft missile is launched during a Greek Army military exercise near Chania on the island of Crete on December 13, 2013.Costas Metaxakis/AFP via Getty Images

  • Slovakia said it sent Ukraine an S-300 air defense system to defend against Russian attacks.

  • The Soviet-era S-300 is a long-range surface-to-air missile system that can shoot down cruise missiles and aircraft.

  • The small Eastern European country is the first NATO member to send Ukraine such advanced weaponry.

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger has confirmed that he has sent his S-300 air defense system to Ukraine, becoming the first NATO country to respond to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s calls to supply long-range missile weaponry.

The S-300 is a Soviet-era long-range surface-to-air missile system that can shoot down cruise missiles and aircraft and has a range of up to 90 miles.

It is considered one of the most powerful anti-aircraft missile systems. and it is in the arsenal of three NATO countries: Slovakia, Bulgaria and Greece.

On Friday, the Slovak Prime Minister wrote on Facebook that donating the system did not mean that Slovakia, a NATO country, has become a party to the armed conflict in Ukraine.

Zelenskyy has urged Western allies to send planes, tanks and defense systems to Ukraine and mentioned S-300 during an impassioned speech to Congress via video last month.

“Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people,” Zelenskyy told Congress.

“You know what kind of defense systems we need, S-300 and other similar systems.”

NATO countries have begun to intensify their support for Ukraine by sending more heavy weapons while the invasion of Russia continues.

The Czech Republic became the first NATO country to send tanks to Ukraine earlier this week, a Czech defense source said. Reuters.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said access point on Thursday that individual NATO countries planned to increase arms supplies to Ukraine following recent atrocities, but did not provide details.

As an organization, NATO has refused to send weapons or troops to non-member Ukraine, but individual countries can choose to act.

The move follows recent reports of the death of at least 300 civilians in Bucha and a rocket attack on a railway station in Kramatorsk that killed at least 50 people on Friday.

Zelenskyy warned that the planned fighting in Donbas, in eastern Ukraine, could result in the biggest war in centuries.

speaking to the German newspaper BILD, owned by Axel Springer, the parent company of Insider, on Friday, Zelenskyy predicted heavy fighting in the coming days.

“It could be a big war in Donbas, the likes of which the world has not seen for hundreds of years,” Paul Ronzheimer told BILD reporter.

“We will continue to defend our country to the end,” continued the Ukrainian president.

The chilling prognosis is echoed by the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told NATO members Thursday.

“The battle for Donbas will remind you of World War II,” Kuleba said.

He used this warning to immediately call on Western allies to provide heavier weaponry, including air defense systems, artillery, armored vehicles, and jet aircraft.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces are regrouping for a new eastern offensive in the Donbass region after failing to capture kyiv.

President Joe Biden said Friday that the United States was supporting Slovakia’s decision to send the S-300 missile system to Ukraine and was sending the Eastern European country a US-made aircraft. Patriot missile defense system as a replacement.

“I want to thank the Slovak government for providing an S-300 air defense system to Ukraine, something that President Zelenskyy has raised with me personally in our talks,” Biden said.

“Now is not the time for complacency,” Biden said in a statement as he accused the Russian military of committing “horrific acts of brutality.”

Read the original article at Business Insider



Reference-news.yahoo.com

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