A Pentagon official said Russia is attempting to deplete Ukraine’s air defense systems.

Pentagon’s top policy adviser Colin Kahl warned that Moscow wanted to deplete Ukrainian air defenses, which have so far prevented the Russian military from dominating the skies over Ukraine.

Kahl said during a visit to the Middle East that the Russians are trying to overwhelm and exhaust Ukrainian air defense systems. Russia’s increased missile strikes in Ukraine are partly intended to exhaust Kyiv’s air defenses and finally seize control of the skies over the country.

Colin Kahl
Colin Kahl, Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Adviser to the Vice President at the time, speaking at a talk about the Iran Deal hosted by Center for Strategic & International Studies. (Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies/Wikimedia)

“I think one of the things that probably surprised the Russians the most is how resilient Ukraine’s air defenses have been since the beginning of this conflict,” he said.