New air defence systems provided by Ukraine’s western allies have arrived in the country, Ukraine’s government said.
“These weapons will significantly strengthen #UAarmy and will make our skies safer,” Oleksii Reznikov said on Twitter on Monday (Tuesday AEST).
“We will continue to shoot down the enemy targets attacking us. Thank you to our partners: Norway, Spain and the US.”
The US earlier this year committed to sending eight NASAMS – National Advanced Surface to Air Missile Systems – to Ukraine.
The White House in October said it would expedite the delivery of two systems.
NASAMS provide short-to-medium range defences, and would be capable of engaging Russian cruise missiles. It’s the same system used to protect airspace in Washington, DC.
The systems are manufactured by US defence contractor Raytheon in a joint partnership with Norway’s Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace, according to the Pentagon.
The announcement of new air defences for Ukraine comes after Russian missiles and military drones pounded Ukraine’s critical infrastructure in recent weeks.
The strike severely damaged its electrical grid, forcing many towns and cities across the country to impose scheduled hours-long blackouts.
Ukraine’s state-energy company said on Monday that the country would be subjected to further power cuts, both scheduled and unscheduled, due to damage from recent Russian attacks on infrastructure.
And Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the Ukrainian capital must ready itself for further attacks on its already imperiled energy infrastructure.
Klitschko said the Kremlin’s strategy was not war, but rather “terrorism” and even “genocide.”
“Our enemies are doing everything to keep the city without heat, electricity, and water supply, and in general, they want us all to die,” he said.
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