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Former SBU officer on Ukraine losing two Patriot launchers

Soldiers prepare a Patriot missile battery as part of an evaluation in Slovakia. August 3, 2022.
Soldiers prepare a Patriot missile battery as part of an evaluation in Slovakia. August 3, 2022.

Publicly available video evidence suggests that the Russian military has succeeded in destroying two Patriot SAM launchers in eastern Ukraine, although this is yet to be confirmed by Kyiv officials.

Read also: Ukraine may use its last Patriot and NASAMS missiles to wear down Russian aviation — Forbes

Ivan Stupak, a military expert and former officer of Ukraine’s SBU security service, told NV Radio on March 11 why Moscow focused on taking these assets out, nearly one year after Patriot air defense systems entered service with the Ukrainian military.

“What is important to note: Russian drones can fly over a long distance into Ukrainian territory,” said Stupak.

“These are reconnaissance drones, not just Shaheds [kamikaze drones] that fly ‘one-way’ missions to destroy something. They are the ones patrolling the territory of Zaporizhzhya and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts. There were reports they fly 40-50 km deep, maybe a little more, i.e. they’re patrolling this location, this territory [where the launchers were operating].”

Read also: Ukraine downs 151 Shaheds out of 175 since early March, more air defense systems on the way — Zelenskyy

According to Stupak, once Russian recon drones spotted the two parked launchers, the enemy quickly struck them with an Iskander ballistic missile.

“The drone spotted [the Patriot launchers], the crew took aim, handed over the calculation to an Iskander unit, and a ballistic hit was scored literally in a minute or two. It’s just a crazy weapon, we should keep that in mind,” he said.

Degrading Ukrainian air defenses remains a priority for the Russian military, Stupak noted.

“But these Patriots have become a big challenge for them since their planes are falling,” he continues.

Read also: 10 Patriot missile systems would dramatically alter the situation at the front – Zelenskyy

“Russian military pilot communities are already interspersed with the following chats: ‘Why should we do it? We’re being sent to slaughter. How come? We’re just in the pipeline, we should do something about it.”

“This is war. You can’t rest on your laurels and say ‘oh, everything is great, we skewered them all, everything is super cool, they don’t fly anymore.’ No, they’re trying to strike back.”

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine