Ukraine warns it cannot defend against Iran’s ballistic missiles

Spokesman of the Ukrainian Air Force Command Yurii Ihnat holds a press conference in Kiev in 2022.
Spokesperson of the Ukrainian Air Force Command Yurii Ihnat holds a press conference in Kyiv in 2022. (Evgen Kotenko/Ukrinform/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

If Russia acquires Iranian ballistic missiles for use in the war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Air Force has warned that it has no means to counter them.

“Russia is still ready to receive UAVs (drones) and Fateh and Zolfaghar missiles from Iran. It’s a ballistic missile. We have no means to defeat them,” Yurii Ihnat, a spokesman for the Air Force Command, said Monday on Ukrainian television.

As of November, Iran is preparing to send about 1,000 more weapons, including short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and more attack drones, to Russia for use in the war against Ukraine. Officials from a Western country closely monitoring Iran’s weapons program told CNN at the time.

Reuters, in October, cited two Iranian officials and two Iranian diplomats as reporting that Tehran had promised to supply Russia with those weapons. “The Russians have requested more Iranian drones and ballistic missiles with improved accuracy, especially the Fateh and Zolfaghar family of missiles,” said one of the Iranian diplomats, who was informed. reported the trip, told Reuters.

The Iranian government admitted in November that it had sent a limited number of drones to Russia in the months before the start of the invasion of Ukraine, but denied providing military equipment for use in the war. war in Ukraine.

“Russia has a Kinzhal-type missile that strikes a ballistic trajectory,” Ihnat said on Monday. “They have the Kh-22 ballistic missile, and they have the S-300 and S-400 ballistic missile. Those are the challenges and threats we’re facing right now.”

Ihnat said that to “defeat ballistic threats”, Ukraine needs air defense systems such as the latest generation of American Patriot PAC-3 and French-made SAMP/T (Sol-Air Moyenne Portée/Terrestre) .

The US has not released details about the Patriot air defense system that it intends to supply to Ukraine. Ukrainian soldiers were assigned earlier this month to begin training on the Patriot missile system.

Previous reporting from Kylie Atwood, Ellie Kaufman, Oren Liebermann and Haley Britzky in Washington and Celine Alkhaldi in Abu Dhabi.


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