- President Volodymyr Zelenskiy sent a message of encouragement to the manufacturer of the Patriot missile system.
- Ukraine's president attended Davos this week and praised the capabilities of its defense systems.
- The American Patriots have proven to be one of Ukraine's most effective defenses.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy this week unveiled the name of a surface-to-air missile system that has given Ukraine a combat advantage over Russia's supposedly invincible weapons systems in recent months.
In a group interview at the Davos World Economic Forum on Tuesday, attended by Business Insider, President Zelensky publicly expressed gratitude to the manufacturer of the Patriot missile interceptor system while discussing Ukraine's weapons expansion.
“I have nothing but a huge thank you to the makers of the Patriot. [other] “Such systems exist in the world today that can counter any attack by the Russian Federation, from conventional missiles to ballistic missiles,” Zelenskiy said.
In a discussion with media leaders from around the world, President Zelensky spoke generally about Ukraine's weapons expansion since the Russian invasion in February 2021, saying the country has increased its domestic production of missiles and electronic warfare systems by “1,000,000. He said it had doubled.
But Ukraine's president specifically hailed the U.S.-provided Patriots as the “most powerful” weapons system “in the world today.”
Western Patriots have proven to be one of the most effective defenses Ukraine has against Russia's top-of-the-line weapons.
Earlier this month, Ukraine announced it had used Patriot systems to shoot down 10 Russian Kinzhal planes that came under fire during heavy air raids. Russian President Vladimir Putin once described the Kinzhals as invincible.
In November, Ukrainian officials boasted that the system helped shoot down five Russian planes in just five minutes in May.
“The Russians are shocked, and to be honest, our partners are also shocked that this system is really working so strongly,” Zelenskiy said on Tuesday.
He added that the battlefields of Ukraine have proven to be a true test for the operation of the Patriot system. One military analyst told Barron's last year that the Ukrainians are using Patriot missile systems in ways that surprise even the Pentagon.
President Zelenskiy has long requested the United States to send missile systems. They finally arrived in the country in April.
But the president's praise of the weapons came amid concerns that supplies provided by the United States could soon be exhausted. According to the New York Times, each interceptor costs between $2 million and $4 million to build.
Congressional Republicans are threatening to cut off future funding to Ukraine.
A Business Insider reporter said earlier this month that NATO and other member states such as Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain could help fill this gap.
Global Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Carlson contributed to this report.