In a statement on Telegram on Wednesday, the Russian embassy in Washington said that the U.S. sending the Patriot missile system to Ukraine would be “provocative.” A formal diplomatic note was also sent by the Kremlin to the White House yesterday, warning of “unpredictable consequences.”
Referring to U.S. and NATO shipments of “most sensitive” weapons systems to Ukraine, Russia’s note accused the West of “adding fuel” to the ongoing conflict.
Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a weekly briefing Thursday that “the U.S. has effectively become a party” to the war in Ukraine, following reports that it will provide Kyiv with the Patriot missile system, the most advanced the West has yet provided, to protect civilians from future Russian attacks.
The U.S. is expected to make an announcement by week’s end that it will supply Kyiv with the coveted weapons system, according to officials cited by the Wall Street Journal.
The MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system, manufactured by Raytheon, is one of the more advanced air defense weapon systems in the U.S. arsenal.
With around 40 percent of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure being attacked by Russian missiles and Iranian-made drones in recent months, millions of Ukrainians have been plunged into darkness, with emergency blackouts leaving civilians without heating while temperatures are currently averaging at a bone-chilling - 6 degrees Celsius.
"We call on the United States and its allies to stop the irresponsible militarization of Ukraine, which implies unpredictable consequences for regional and international security," Russia’s note read.
America has already taken steps to help Ukraine protect its infrastructure and civilians, including sending two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) last month. The nation also signed a $1.2 billion contract to build six more of the systems and supply them to Ukraine over the next two years.
U.S. military assistance to Ukraine is up to $19.4 billion since Russia “launched its premeditated, unprovoked, and brutal war against Ukraine on Feb. 24,” according to a State Department announcement dated Dec. 9.
Early yesterday morning, Dec. 14, in yet another wave of attacks intended to terrorize Ukraine and destroy its infrastructure, Russia fired a batch of drones into Kyiv.
Kyiv’s city administration confirmed that two of its administrative buildings had been damaged by falling debris, while Svitlana Vodolaga, a spokesperson for Kyiv’s rescue services, told Ukraine’s Suspilne news that there had thankfully been no casualties.
Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv’s Mayor, wrote on Telegram that eplosions had been heard in the capital’s central Shevchenkivsy district. The air raid alert lasted for three hours.
Five buildings in total were damaged, with the Ukrainian military confirming on Telegram that it had shot down 13 drones over Kyiv.
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