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

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

The spokesman, John F. Kirby, said Ukraine had a critical need for Patriot interceptor missiles as Russia has accelerated attacks against cities and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

“This decision demonstrates our commitment to supporting our partners when they’re in existential danger,” Mr. Kirby told reporters. He said the move would not affect weapons shipments to Israel or Taiwan.

The Patriot is the Pentagon’s standard air-defense system for ground forces to defend against airborne threats. The United States first sent a Patriot battery to Ukraine in December 2022.

“The broader message here to Russia is clear,” Mr. Kirby said. “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.”

He added that the United States had notified allies of the delays and that many were “broadly understanding” of the move.

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