NATO Allies Commit to Sending Dozens of Air Defense Systems to Ukraine, Including Four Patriots

 President Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 75th Anniversary of NATO at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (AP)
President Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 75th Anniversary of NATO at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (AP)
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NATO Allies Commit to Sending Dozens of Air Defense Systems to Ukraine, Including Four Patriots

 President Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 75th Anniversary of NATO at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (AP)
President Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 75th Anniversary of NATO at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (AP)

The US and an array of other NATO allies will send Ukraine dozens of air defense systems in the coming months, including at least four of the powerful Patriot systems that Kyiv has been desperately seeking to help fight off Russian advances in the war, according to a new joint agreement.

“Today I’m announcing a historic donation of air defense equipment for Ukraine,” President Joe Biden said Tuesday at the opening of the NATO summit in Washington. “The United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Italy will provide Ukraine with the equipment for five additional strategic air defense systems.”

In addition, he said that in the coming months the United States and others will provide dozens of other tactical air defense systems and hundreds of munitions for them.

The announcement was made with much fanfare as the summit opened at the Mellon Auditorium, where the North Atlantic Treaty was first signed in 1949, establishing NATO. There both Biden and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg spoke urgently about the importance of the alliance and the need to stand together in support of Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants nothing less than to “wipe Ukraine off the map,” Biden said. “And we know Putin won’t stop in Ukraine. But make no mistake, Ukraine can and will stop Putin.”

According to the joint statement released Tuesday, the US, Germany and Romania will send Ukraine additional Patriot batteries, while the Netherlands and others will provide Patriot components to make up one more battery. Italy will provide a SAMP-T air defense system.

Other allies, including Canada, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom, will provide a number of other systems that will help Ukraine expand its coverage. Those systems include NASAMS, HAWKs, IRIS T-SLM, IRIS T-SLS and Gepards. And other nations have agreed to provide munitions for those systems.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a social media post on Tuesday, made it clear that air defense is still his country's key request, and he has repeatedly asked for more Patriot systems.

“We are fighting for more air defense systems for Ukraine, and I’m confident we will succeed,” he said. “We are also striving to secure more aircraft, including F-16s. Additionally, we are pushing for enhanced security guarantees for Ukraine, including weapons, financial aid, and political support.”

Earlier this year, he said Ukraine urgently needs seven more Patriot batteries to fend off Russian strikes against the power grid, the military and civilian areas using destructive glide bombs.

The Patriot systems, he said, would help prevent Russian aircraft from flying close enough to drop the glide bombs on civilians and critical infrastructure. He said Russia had been firing 3,000 bombs into his country each month.

The commitment for new air defense systems comes as Russia continues its relentless bombardment of Ukraine, including a massive barrage that struck a children’s hospital in Kyiv on Monday and killed at least 42 people.

On Tuesday, Zelenskyy urged “decisive actions” from the US and Europe to strengthen his troops and vowed to do everything possible to defeat Russia.

The United States has already sent Ukraine two Patriot missile systems — one late last year and, according to US officials, another last month. And Romania’s top defense body said late last month that the country would donate a Patriot missile system to neighboring Ukraine.

A number of European allies have been reluctant to part with their air defense systems, as they worry about possible threats from Russia as well.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin two years ago set up a coalition of more than 50 countries to help gather and coordinate contributions of weapons and training to Ukraine.



Bangladesh Extends Curfew ahead of Court Hearing on Controversial Job Quotas

18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
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Bangladesh Extends Curfew ahead of Court Hearing on Controversial Job Quotas

18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Bangladesh extended a curfew on Sunday to control violent student-led protests that have killed at least 114 people, as authorities braced for a Supreme Court hearing later in the day on government job quotas that sparked the anger.
Soldiers have been on patrol on the streets of capital Dhaka, the center of the demonstrations that spiraled into clashes between protesters and security forces, Reuters said.
Internet and text message services in Bangladesh have been suspended since Thursday, cutting the nation off as police cracked down on protesters who defied a ban on public gatherings.
A curfew ordered late on Friday has been extended to 3 p.m. (0900 GMT) on Sunday, until after the Supreme Court hearing, and will continue for an "uncertain time" following a two-hour break for people to gather supplies, local media reported.
Universities and colleges have also been closed since Wednesday.
Nationwide unrest broke out following student anger against quotas for government jobs that included reserving 30% for the families of those who fought for independence from Pakistan.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government had scrapped the quota system in 2018, but a court reinstated it last month.
The Supreme Court suspended the decision after a government appeal and will hear the case on Sunday after agreeing to bring forward a hearing scheduled for Aug. 7.
The demonstrations - the biggest since Hasina was re-elected for a fourth successive term this year - have also been fueled by high unemployment among young people, who make up nearly a fifth of the population.
The US State Department on Saturday raised its travel advisory for Bangladesh to level four, urging American citizens to not travel to the South Asian country.