Germany admits Ukrainian forces may use Patriot systems to down aircraft over Russia

Monday, 3 June 2024 —

German Major General Christian Freuding, head of the Bundeswehr’s Situation Centre for Ukraine, has not ruled out the possibility that Ukraine could use Patriot missile systems to shoot down aircraft over Russian territory.

"It is entirely conceivable that the Patriot systems will now also be deployed in Kharkiv Oblast and used over Russian territory. They are perfectly suited for combating Russian aircraft that drop horrific glide bombs," Freuding said, as reported by German TV news service Tagesschau.

At the same time, the general emphasised that the tactical use of these systems is the sole responsibility of the Ukrainian military.

On 31 May, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius characterised Berlin's decision to enable Ukraine to employ German weaponry against Russian military facilities as a "strategic adaptation to the changing situation".


The German government had earlier stated that they were authorising Ukraine to utilise the weaponry provided by Germany for assaults on Russian military facilities on the territory of the Russian Federation in the context of the Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast.

According to the European Commission, Ukraine has the right to defend itself from armed aggression under international law, including striking military targets on Russian territory.

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