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NATO Pivots to Sending Ukraine Air Defenses After Russian Missile Attacks

People shelter inside a subway station during a Russian missile attack in Kyiv, Ukraine October 11, 2022. REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi
People shelter inside a subway station during a Russian missile attack in Kyiv, Ukraine October 11, 2022. REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi

NATO defense ministers are gathering in Brussels this week, and sending air defense systems to Ukraine will be at the top of everyone’s agenda, the U.S. ambassador to the alliance told reporters Tuesday.

Russia bombarded civilian targets across Ukraine this weekend in retaliation for the bombing of its sole bridge to Crimea. Moscow struck a dozen cities, including Kyiv, hitting children’s playgrounds and pedestrian bridges — primarily using air-launched cruise missiles. The attacks have so far killed at least 14 people and injured another 100.

Meanwhile, Moscow has been deploying Iranian drones against Ukrainian soldiers and civilian infrastructure, with devastating effects. During his video address to the G-7 summit on Oct. 11, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian military intelligence showed Russia had ordered 2,400 Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones.https://152f1f8a4fee48172875d3fb5161c207.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

In response, the alliance plans to discuss how best to protect Ukrainian infrastructure from the deadly strikes, Ambassador Julianne Smith said. Air defenses have emerged as the likeliest delivery in the near future.

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