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First NATO country sends powerful missiles to Ukraine capable of shutting down Russian warcrafts

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  • Slovakia said it sent Ukraine an S-300 air defense system to defend against Russian attacks.
  • The Soviet-era S-300 is a long-range surface-to-air missile system that can shoot down cruise missiles and aircraft.
  • The small Eastern European country is the first NATO member to send Ukraine such advanced weaponry.

Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger confirmed that his country had sent its S-300 air defense system to Ukraine, making it the first NATO country to respond to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s call for powerful missile weaponry.

The S-300 is a long-range surface-to-air missile system from the Soviet era with a range of up to 90 miles that can shoot down cruise missiles and aircraft.

It is regarded as one of the most powerful anti-aircraft missile systems, and it is in the arsenals of three NATO member countries: Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Greece.

On Friday, Slovakia’s prime minister wrote on Facebook that donating the system did not imply that Slovakia, a NATO member, had become involved in Ukraine’s armed conflict.

Zelenskyy has urged Western allies to send planes, tanks, and defense systems to Ukraine, and he mentioned S-300s in an impassioned video address to Congress last month.

“Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people,” Zelenskyy told Congress. “You know what kind of defense systems we need, S-300 and other similar systems.”

As Russia’s invasion continues, NATO countries have begun to increase their support for Ukraine by sending more heavy-duty weaponry.

According to a Czech defense source, the Czech Republic was the first NATO country to send tanks to Ukraine earlier this week.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the Associated Press on Thursday that individual NATO countries were planning to increase their supply of weapons to Ukraine in response to recent atrocities, but he did not elaborate.

NATO has refused to send weapons or troops to a non-member Ukraine, but individual countries have the option to do so.

NATO has refused to send weapons or troops to a non-member Ukraine, but individual countries have the option to do so.

The move comes in the wake of reports that at least 300 civilians were killed in Bucha, as well as a rocket attack on a train station in Kramatorsk that killed at least 50 people on Friday.

Zelenskyy has warned that the anticipated fighting in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, could lead to the largest war in centuries.

On Friday, Zelenskyy predicted intense fighting in the coming days in an interview with the German newspaper BILD, which is owned by Axel Springer, Insider’s parent company.

“It could be a big war in Donbas — like the world has not seen in hundreds of years,” he told BILD reporter Paul Ronzheimer.

“We will go on defending our country until the end,” the Ukrainian president continued.

The chilling forecast echoes what Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba told NATO members on Thursday. “The battle for Donbas will remind you of the Second World War,” Kuleba said.

He used this warning to immediately request more heavy weaponry from Western allies, including air defense systems, artillery, armored vehicles, and jets.

After failing to capture Kyiv, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces are regrouping for a new eastern offensive on the Donbas region.

President Joe Biden stated on Friday that the United States supported Slovakia’s decision to ship the S-300 missile system to Ukraine and would send the Eastern European country a Patriot missile-defense system as a replacement.

“I want to thank the Slovakian government for providing an S-300 air defense system to Ukraine, something President Zelenskyy has personally raised with me in our conversations,” Biden said.

“Now is no time for complacency,” Biden said in a statement while accusing the Russian military of committing “horrific acts of brutality.”

Read the original article on Business Insider.

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