Today, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Anti-Aircraft Missile Troops of the Ukrainian Air Force, one of the numerous military commemoration days in the country.

The Ministry of Defense introduced the day in 2011 to celebrate the contribution of Anti-Aircraft Missile Troops under the Ukrainian Air Force, though similar units also exist within the Ground Forces and Navy, each with their dedicated Anti-Aircraft Missile Troops.

The Anti-Aircraft Missile Troops are responsible for operating Patriot missile systems and various air defense batteries.

Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, Lieutenant General Mykola Oleschuk, congratulated the troops in a Telegram announcement.

“July 3 – we celebrate the Day of Anti-Aircraft Missile Troops of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine! First of all, I thank all the people who devoted their lives to service in the Air Defense Forces - the basis of the air defense of the state!

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“Every day and every night, the defenders of the Ukrainian sky make maximum efforts to make it cleaner, to protect our people and the army from enemy attacks from the air,” said Oleschuk.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also praised the troops upon the occasion and noted their importance in protecting Ukraine from Russian aerial threats.

“Thousands of destroyed enemy targets: missiles, airplanes, helicopters and drones, effective protection of our cities and communities day and night, under any conditions – all this is the worthy work of the soldiers of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which saves the lives of our people and preserves the infrastructure,” Zelensky said in a Telegram announcement.

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Ukrainian missile forces reportedly launched ATACMS with at least four M39 cluster ballistic missiles at Russian anti-aircraft positions on the outskirts of Mariupol.

Ruslan Stefanchuk, chairman of Ukraine’s parliament, also expressed similar gratitude.

“Congratulations defenders of the Ukrainian sky! Grateful for the protection of Ukrainian cities from attacks, for repelling airstrikes, for hundreds of enemy targets shot down, and for the saved lives of civilians. Thank you for your service day and night!” read Stefanchuk’s Facebook announcement.

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