Zelenskyy says Ukraine had to change faulty air-defense equipment from a European ally 'again and again' because it didn't work

Zelenskyy does an interview with the Associated Press
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during an interview with the Associated Press.Efrem Lukatsky/AP
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  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a European ally provided a faulty air defense system.

  • He said Ukraine had to "change it again and again." Zelenskyy did not say which country provided it.

  • Zelenskyy also told the AP that Ukraine is still waiting for the US Patriot system to be deployed.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a European ally provided Ukraine with a faulty air defense system, although he withheld which country was responsible.

Since Russia's invasion in February 2022, Ukraine has received billions of dollars worth of security assistance from Western nations. This includes anti-armor systems, artillery weapons and rounds, as well as air defense systems.

Some countries rushed to supply equipment, some of which dated back many years.

One air defense system provided by a European nation failed, resulting in Ukraine needing to "change it again and again," Zelenskyy told the Associated Press.

Zelenskyy also noted that some of the weapons promised to his war-torn country have yet to materialize.

European nations have contributed billions in military aid to Ukraine, with the United Kingdom, Poland, and Germany being the largest donors from the region.

Meanwhile, the US has pledged the most military assistance to Ukraine to date.

But Zelenskyy said that Ukraine is still waiting to receive Patriot mobile surface-to-air missile and antiballistic missile systems, which the US agreed to provide back in December as part of a $1.85 billion package of additional military aid.

Ukrainian soldiers have received training in the US on how to use the Patriot system, Zelenskyy said, but the system is yet to be deployed in Ukraine.

"We have great decisions about Patriots, but we don't have them for real," he said.

Zelenskyy told the AP that Ukraine will need at least 20 Patriot batteries to protect it against Russian missiles, if not more. He also reiterated his longstanding request for fighter jets, saying that Ukrainians "don't have anything when it comes to modern warplanes."

US defense officials said last week that they intend to speed up the deployment of the Patriot system to Ukraine.

In December, a US Department of Defense official said in a press briefing that the provision of the Patriot system "will give Ukraine a critical long-range capability to defend its airspace."

But the official warned that while the Patriot is highly capable, it is "no silver bullet."

Read the original article on Business Insider