Ukraine wants more air defense. Here’s how it works.

A Spanish air defense system at a military exercise in Latvia on Sept. 27.

Russia’s deadly missile strikes across Ukraine this week have renewed calls for the United States and its partners to provide the government in Kyiv with advanced air defense systems capable of downing incoming fire.

The carnage — stretching from Lviv in the west to the eastern city of Kharkiv — could have been much worse. Ukraine’s military intercepted about half of the 84 missiles and 24 armed drones fired by Russia on Monday and Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said. Additional strikes were reported Wednesday.

“When Ukraine receives a sufficient quantity of modern and effective air defense systems, the key element of Russia’s terror — rocket strikes — will cease to work,” Zelensky told Group of Seven leaders this week.

NATO countries race to strengthen Ukrainian air defenses

Ukraine’s Western allies promised advanced air defense systems on Oct. 12 after Russia's deadly missile strikes across Ukraine. (Video: Reuters)

Two U.S. air defense systems known as NASAMS are weeks away from delivery, the Pentagon said following the strikes, and efforts are underway to expedite the process.

Speaking Wednesday at NATO headquarters in Belgium, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States and its partners are doing “everything we can, as fast we can, to get the Ukrainian forces what they need to protect the Ukrainian people,” though he did not announce any new aid.

What to know: