Biden authorizes transfer of two Patriot missile batteries from Poland to Ukraine in bid to bolster Kyiv’s air defenses
06/21/2024 // Richard Brown // Views

President Joe Biden is authorizing the transfer of Patriot surface-to-air missile systems from Poland to Ukraine in a bid to bolster Kyiv's defenses against Russian air attacks.

Following the beginning of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine in 2022, the United States responded by transferring two of its MIM-104 Patriot batteries from the U.S. to the Polish Armed Forces. The batteries were used to secure the Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport in southeastern Poland, less than 60 miles from the border with Ukraine, a crucial hub for transporting aid from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to Ukraine and to help secure officials traveling in and out of the country. (Related: U.S. runs out of spare "Patriot" missiles for Ukraine, spelling impending Russian victory.)

Jacek Siewiera, Secretary of State and head of the National Security Bureau, reacted to the news during an interview with commercial broadcaster Radio ZET, stating that "American Patriots should not be transferred from Poland to Ukraine." He emphasized Poland's critical role in acting as a supply corridor for Ukraine and serving as a deterrent on NATO’s eastern flank.

Deputy Defense Minister Cezary Tomczyk clarified that any Patriot battery transferred out of Poland would be promptly replaced by another, reiterating that Poland did not consent to the transfer of its own Patriot system.

During his most recent visit to NATO's headquarters in Brussels, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin assured that there were no plans to diminish the protection of Polish airspace with the Patriot battery deployments.

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In April, Polish President Andrzej Duda responded to calls for European countries to share their Patriot systems with Ukraine by noting Poland’s ongoing efforts to establish its own Patriot system, stressing that Poland cannot currently provide additional systems.

In recent months, the Ukrainian government has repeatedly urged Western allies to enhance their support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine with more anti-aircraft systems, particularly Patriot batteries, to safeguard Ukrainian military forces, cities and critical infrastructure targeted by Russian attacks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized in April that Ukraine requires at least seven additional Patriot batteries for effective air defense. Currently, the U.S. has dispatched one Patriot system to Ukraine, with promises from the Netherlands, Germany and other countries in recent weeks to contribute additional systems.

One U.S. official specified that the system will be transferred from an airfield in southeastern Poland, which has served as a staging area for Pentagon shipments of weapons and supplies to Ukrainian forces since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Multiple Patriot batteries have been stationed there.

The move includes plans by U.S. military officials to replace the system in Poland with another Patriot from a different location, said the official.

"Ukraine has observed how the U.S. has sought Patriots worldwide while unable to explain why they couldn't provide their own," remarked a Ukrainian official speaking anonymously. "Every level in Ukraine worked towards achieving this outcome."

Patriot batteries sought after all over Europe

The Patriot system, a flagship U.S. defense system, is particularly sought after for its alleged effectiveness in safeguarding troops, urban areas and critical infrastructure such as power facilities. Notably, it is the sole system proven capable of intercepting hypersonic missiles used by Russia against Ukraine. These missiles are highly maneuverable and fly at low altitudes, making them challenging to detect and counter.

The urgency of bolstering Ukraine's defenses was underscored when the Kremlin launched a significant assault, deploying six cruise missiles and more than 20 drones over Ukraine. In Kyiv, air raid sirens blared and explosions echoed throughout the night.

Ukraine's air force reported successfully intercepting 29 of 30 incoming targets, including four cruise missiles, one ballistic missile, one aeroballistic missile, and 24 attack drones. This successful defense highlighted the ongoing threat to Ukrainian cities and reinforced the necessity for modern air defense to repel continual Russian attacks.

Hours after this overnight barrage, another missile strike targeted Zelensky's hometown of Kryvyi Rih, resulting in at least nine fatalities, dozens wounded and damage to administrative and residential buildings, as confirmed by officials.

Visit for similar stories regarding the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Watch this video about what a Patriot missile does and why it's important to Ukraine.

This video is from the High Hopes channel on

More related stories:

America has run dry of Patriot missiles to send to Ukraine – so what’s next?

Russia destroys Ukrainian Patriot air defense missile launchers.

Ukraine running out of air defense missiles, giving Russia a FREE PASS to Kyiv.

Sources include:

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