Germany will send anti-aircraft missiles, radar systems to Kiev

BERLIN (AP) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday that his country would supply Ukraine with modern anti-aircraft missiles and radar systems, boosting arms supplies amid criticism that Germany is not doing enough to help Kiev fight Russia.

Scholz told lawmakers that the government had decided to supply Ukraine with IRIS-T SLM missiles developed by Germany along with other NATO countries.

According to him, Germany will also supply Ukraine with radar systems to help determine the location of enemy artillery.

The announcement came at a time when Ukrainian forces are fighting a fierce battle for the eastern industrial region of Donbass. After a series of setbacks in the weeks since the invasion, Russian troops have shifted their focus to the Donbass and are seeking to capture those parts of the region that are not yet controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.

In the Donbas, Russian troops have seized half of a key city in eastern Ukraine in a “crazy push,” Mayor Alexander Stryuk said on Tuesday. At the same time, the governor of the largest Luhansk region Sergei Gaidai said that most of the city, Severodonetsk, is under Russian control, but added that fierce fighting continues and the city is not surrounded.

Military analysts say the fighting in the Donbas is a race against time: the Kremlin hopes to win before more Western weapons arrive to bolster Ukraine’s defenses.

The West hopes to strike a balance. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the United States would supply Ukraine with the more advanced missile systems requested by its leaders. In an essay published in The New York Times, Biden said missile systems would allow Ukraine to “more accurately strike at key targets.”

U.S. officials, speaking to Biden’s statement on condition of anonymity, said Washington would send Ukraine a small number of high-tech medium-range missile systems. The missiles can be used both to intercept Russian artillery and to withdraw Russian positions in cities where intense fighting is taking place, such as in Severodonetsk.

The statements were made against the background of statements at home and abroad that Germany is delaying the supply of weapons to Ukraine needed to defend against Russia.

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Follow the coverage of the AP war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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