The United States is reportedly sending Soviet-era air defense system to help boost Ukraine's resistance against Russia. This comes as the war entered it 26th day, with reports claiming that Russia has increased its air sorties and bombing on Ukrainian cities as they ground advance remains almost stalled.
The air defense systems were reportedly secretly acquired by Washington decades ago and may now help the Ukrainians fight the Russian as they continue to bomb all major cities across Ukraine. This comes as Pentagon on Monday said that it has clear evidence of growing Russian war crimes in Ukraine and that should stop at all cost.
Ukraine Gets Help
President Joe Biden unveiled a new batch of arms for the Ukrainian government this week in Kyiv. However, he didn't say anything about the Soviet-era air defense system that the United States would be shipping to Ukraine.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the US delivery of the air defense systems is part of Biden's administration's effort to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian military aggression. The decades old SA-8 surface-to-air missile systems, which are reported to be on their way, will help Ukraine defend itself as Russia over the past couple of days has increased air raids on the country.
American officials told WSJ that the delivery will include the SA-8 which is a mobile short-range surface-to-air missile system developed by the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The Ukrainian military, which inherited some of this technology after the Soviet Union fell apart, is likely to be familiar with these systems.
According to the WSJ, the US collected various systems in the Cold war era, including the S-300, known to NATO as the SA-10, to study Soviet technology and better comprehend their capabilities,
"We are continuing to work with our allies and key partners to surge new assistance, including Soviet- or Russian-origin antiaircraft systems and the necessary ammunition to employ them, every day to Ukraine," a U.S. official told the newspaper.
Zelensky Calls for No-Fly Zone
The air-defense systems are already on their way to Ukraine and will reach shorty. However, it is not known how many SA-8 surface-to-air missile systems are being given to Ukraine.
The United States' scheduled delivery to Ukraine comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly called on the United States and NATO partners to enforce a no-fly zone over the nation.
The West, on the other hand, has dismissed such a move, with the Biden administration warning that it may result in outright warfare between the United States and Russia. Instead, it prefers that Ukraine develop its own air defense systems.
Other efforts to supply Kyiv include working with Slovakia in an effort to send an S-300 from its arsenal. Last week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Slovakia, but has yet to negotiate an agreement in which the US will provide a replacement.
When the S-8 entered service in 1971, it was a significant step forward for Soviet defenses. The recent events in Ukraine have highlighted the critical necessity for air defense systems.
It was the first mobile defensive missile system to be equipped with its own engagement radars and to be transported on a single vehicle. Its five-person crew could halt their truck and be ready to fight planes nearly 20 miles away in five minutes.
Tough resistance from Ukraine has almost stalled the Russian army's movement in the United States but that has seen a surge in massive bombing. Now, the Soviet-era defense system might help them counter the Russians in air also.