Ukraine borders Russia and was occupied and served as a puppet state until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The US and Ukraine maintain bilateral relations as the US attached great importance to the successful transition of Ukraine to a democratic, prosperous, and stable state.
In 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea disregarding Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and international law.[i] In response, the U.S. and Western allies imposed sanctions on Russia and the U.S. increased its military presence in Europe.
In response to Russia’s occupation of Crimea, the U.S. and its NATO allies are considering increasing U.S. ballistic missile defenses in Europe.
Ukraine’s Ballistic Missile Defense Capabilities
Ukraine’s Air Defense Capabilities
|System||Role||Number Deployed||Country of Origin|
|Buk-M1/M2||Road-mobile, medium-range air defense||Unknown||Russia (the Soviet Union)|
|2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful)||Road-mobile, short-range air defense||Unknown||Russia (the Soviet Union)|
|9K33 Osa (SA-8 Gecko)||Road-mobile, short-range air defense||Unknown||Russia (the Soviet Union)|
|S-200 (SA-5 Gammon)||Long-range air defense||Unknown||Russia (the Soviet Union)|
|S-300 (PMU1/V1/V2; SA-10 Grumble)||Road-mobile, long-range air defense||Unknown||Russia|
|Tor-M1||Road-mobile, short-range air defense||Unknown||Russia (the Soviet Union)|
|9K35 Strela-10 (SA-13 Gopher)||Road-mobile, short-range air defense||Unknown||Russia (the Soviet Union)|
In May of 2013 NATO stated that Ukraine has made it known that they had a clear interest in the future development of NATO’s anti-ballistic missile system despite Russia’s opposition, and in May of 2015 Ukraine once again made it known that they were open to considering proposals to place a ballistic missile defense system on its territory.[ii]
In January 2017, Ukraine was gradually restoring its ‘missile shield’ by preparing missile for mass production and resuming production of rocket artillery.[iii] Just a year later, in January 2018, Ukraine has announced it is developing a new ground-launched cruise missile.[iv]
In May 2018, the United States confirmed that it sent a Javelin anti-tank missile system to Ukraine. Later that same month, Ukraine tested the system and emphasized that it would only be used if provoked by other nations.