US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Tuesday he has been encouraging countries with Patriot missile systems to donate them to Ukraine, which has appealed for more of the air defense batteries.

"There are countries that have Patriots, and so what we're doing is continuing to engage those countries," Austin told a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

"I have talked to the leaders of several countries... myself here in the last two weeks, encouraging them to give up more capability or provide more capability," he said, without identifying the countries by name.

Various European Union countries possess the systems, including Spain, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told NATO members earlier this month that his country needed a minimum of seven additional Patriot or other high-end air defense systems to counter Russian air strikes, urging them to step up their military assistance for Kyiv.

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@S foreskin,

It sometimes seems that too much allied focus has gone into Ukraine's defence at the expense of supporting its offence capability. The best defence is a strong offence.

I think day one of putin's illegal invasion, NATO should have imposed the no fly zone in Ukraine as Zelensky had requested. That would solve 80% of Ukraine's defence needs right there, and more importantly have ended the war more quickly with Ukraine's full territory restoration. Russian criminal invaders should be stopped dead in their tracks as they attacked inside of Ukraine's borders.

Also there should be no allied restrictions on firing these newly donated longer range missiles into russian territory as long as it is at military and logistical assets NATO itself would target in war. The russians need to feel at least some of the pain they allow their tyrant leader to inflict on Ukraine's infrastructure. Russian' may not otherwise not learn the lesson that it is unacceptable to steal from and murder one's peaceful neighbour.

At any rate, with the added +$110 billion in weapons to be sent Ukraine in the next 6 months here's hoping a lot more russian's understand the principle of karma.