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Ukraine Receives First Batch of Patriot Missile System

The Patriot is a surface-to-air guided missile system that was first deployed in the 1980s. U.S. Department of Defense

Kyiv said Wednesday it had received the first shipments of the American-made Patriot surface-to-air missile system and deployed light-armored fighting vehicles sent by France as it prepares for a major counter-offensive against Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. 

"Today, our beautiful Ukrainian sky becomes more secure because Patriot air defense systems have arrived in Ukraine," Ukrainian defense minister Oleksiy Reznikov wrote on Twitter. 

He added that the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands had "kept their word” after promising to provide Ukraine with the defense system as Russia launches air attacks against critical energy infrastructure.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said the system will "significantly" strengthen Ukraine's defense against Russian strikes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin previously dismissed the planned shipments, saying Russia will find an “antidote.”

In January, Germany said that it was following the United States in sending one of the Patriot systems to Ukraine.

The Netherlands announced it would supply parts of the advanced air defense system to Ukraine, specifically two launchers and missiles.

Separately, the Ukrainian army said Wednesday that France's light AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles were "already in service.”

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