US will soon be unable to supply Ukraine with Patriot missiles

One of the most effective weapons Ukraine has received from its allies, the Patriot surface-to-air missile systems, may soon be rendered useless. They have saved thousands of lives, but White House and Pentagon officials have warned that the U.S. ability to supply the systems with interceptor missiles is about to run out, The New York Times reports.

Patriot is one of the few systems that can shoot down the ballistic missiles that cause the most casualties, the NYT quoted a Ukrainian military official who estimates the number of lives Patriot has saved in the thousands.

On the eve and after the new year, Russia shelled Ukrainian cities fiercely. On Dec. 29, Russia fired more than 120 rockets, killing at least 44 people, including 30 in Kyiv, and about 100 more on Jan. 2.In just five days, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said more than 500 rockets were fired. UN observers have recorded 90 civilians killed and more than 400 wounded in that time.

But each missile for Patriot costs $2–4 million, and the funds allocated to support Ukraine have run out. The US will continue to support Ukraine militarily for as long as necessary – but not necessarily on the scale of the last two years, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said the other day.

For support to resume, it must be approved by Congress, but so far the White House has been unable to reach an agreement. Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson called a clear strategy for Ukraine with defined goals and methods of control over the use of allocated funds a condition for approval of the new tranche of aid.

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