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Patriot supplies unlikely to impact Russia’s plans to liberate Kharkov, expert says

According to Roman Shkurlatov, two Patriot systems will not make Kharkov safe

MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. Russia’s plans to liberate the city of Kharkov cannot be affected by the possible supplies of Patriot missile systems to Ukraine, Roman Shkurlatov, a retired lieutenant colonel who serves as chairman of the board of the Offices of Russia organization, told TASS.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with ABC News that Ukraine could lose Kharkov unless Kiev received two Patriot systems.

"Kiev has long been dreaming of getting Patriots; they [the Ukrainians] always lack Patriots as it’s a very expensive system. So, every time, this is the first thing they try to get from the West. Now, they are pointing to the risk of Kharkov’s fall. <...> Two Patriot systems will not make Kharkov safe. He [Zelensky] says that 'Kharkov will fall soon unless you give us this and that.' Zelensky keeps doing his old tricks. Kharkov will be liberated in any case," Shkurlatov stressed.

Earlier, Ukrainian officials admitted that the situation was difficult in the Kharkov area. The Ukrainian General Staff said on May 14 that the country’s armed forces had "to move to more advantageous positions" near the town of Volchansk and the village of Lukyantsy.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Thursday that units of Battlegroup North had advanced deeper into enemy defenses. On May 15, the ministry said Russian forces had liberated the villages of Glubokoye and Lukyantsy in the Kharkov Region.