Air Force does not confirm Patriot systems already in Ukraine

7 March, 05:50 PM
Yuriy Ignat, spokesman for the Air Force Command (Photo:Суспільне)

Yuriy Ignat, spokesman for the Air Force Command (Photo:Суспільне)

Ukraine’s Air Force does not confirm reports that Patriot systems are already in Ukraine, and calls on the media to wait for an official announcement, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said on the national television on March 7.

“Of course, Patriot will be in Ukraine. The decisions are made, people are being trained (…),” he said.

According to him, the supply of Patriots will be known when the Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk had tested the system at its wheel, or “we will report about the first ‘Rushist’ (a slang mix between “pro-Russian” and “fascist”) plane that that Patriot hits.”

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Ihnat urged Ukrainians to be patient.

Reports that Patriot had already arrived in Ukraine appeared after the Spanish newspaper Razon published an interview with Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak.

The publication quoted the Polish minister as saying: “I should emphasize that particularly thanks to the efforts Poland has done, the Patriot systems — or the first Leopard tanks, among other items, have already reached Ukraine.”

However, Poland’s Ministry of Defense soon issued a correction, saying that Blaszczak did not say that Patriot systems were already in Ukraine, but wanted to emphasize that the decision to transfer these systems was made due to the efforts of Poland. The ministry said that the false report was probable due to a translation error.

The United States officially announced the transfer of Patriot during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Washington in December 2022.

According to Ukrainian news agency Interfax-Ukraine, the Armed Forces expect that the Patriot and SAMP-T anti-aircraft missile complexes will be delivered to Ukraine after April 2023.

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