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U.S. Will Redirect Deliveries of Patriot Missiles to Ukraine

U.S.U.S. Will Redirect Deliveries of Patriot Missiles to Ukraine

The Biden administration will rush advanced air defense missiles to Ukraine by delaying certain weapons shipments to other countries, a move that a White House spokesman described on Thursday as “difficult but necessary” given Russian advances in the war.

The spokesman, John F. Kirby, said Ukraine had a critical need for Patriot interceptor missiles as Russia accelerated attacks against cities and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. He did not name the other countries affected but said the decision would not apply to weapons shipments to Israel or Taiwan.

“The broader message here to Russia is clear,” Mr. Kirby told reporters. “If you think you’re going to be able to outlast Ukraine, and if you think you’re going to be able to outlast those of us who are supporting Ukraine, you’re just flat-out wrong.”

Russia and Ukraine are in their third year of war, with no clear path to military victory for either side. The two countries increasingly are fighting a war of attrition, firing thousands of artillery shells, missiles and rockets every day.

The Patriot could be crucial as Ukraine tries to improve its air defenses, particularly when it comes to its power grid and other infrastructure, which Russia has been pummeling. The weapon is the most advanced Western air defense system provided to Ukraine thus far and can shoot down Russian ballistic missiles and warplanes at ranges of approximately 40 and 70 miles, respectively.

About a half-dozen countries in the Middle East and Europe are buying Patriot missiles from the United States, said Tom Karako, the director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

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