Thursday 29th of February 2024

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Ukraine claims it will ‘win the war’ with F-16s

F-16 fighter jets could be a game changer in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, Yury Ignat, claimed in remarks to Ukraine’s Espreso TV broadcaster on Saturday.

“When [we] have F-16, we will win this war,” Ignat said, adding that Kiev has repeatedly told its Western backers that the air defense systems it has already obtained from the West are insufficient to protect all of Ukraine’s territory against Russian air strikes.

“The territory of the country and the length of the state border are big and the frontline … is over 2,500 kilometers [long],” the Air Force spokesman said, counting Ukraine’s border with Belarus, its Black Sea shores, and the border with Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria as parts of the “frontline.” 

It would be impossible to cover such an expanse with air defense systems, Ignat maintained. He also said that the US-made F-16 fighter jets would become “a part of the air defenses” and would be used in areas not covered by the ground-based systems.

 

The Air Force spokesman also admitted that the Soviet-made jets that Ukraine has been using until now cannot effectively counter Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and cruise missiles. He added that Kiev also plans to use the US-made jets in offensive operations and that the aircraft would significantly increase the effectiveness of anti-radar HARM missiles and JDAM precision-guided munitions, which Western nations have already handed over to Ukraine.

Ukraine would also use the F-16s to strike the command centers and logistical networks of Russian forces, Ignat said, adding that such attacks would allow Kiev to “quickly” seize territories that it considers “occupied” by Russia.

His words came just days after Washington said it would support a joint program to train Ukrainian pilots on modern jets such as F-16s and would allow allies to transfer the US-made aircraft to Kiev. On Saturday, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told journalists that President Joe Biden had “informed his G7 counterparts” that Washington would let its Western allies supply advanced jets to Ukraine.

Moscow blasted the decision as a “movement up the escalation ladder” that is “fraught with colossal risks” for the West itself. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also accused the US of “waging a hybrid war against the entire region” and of using Ukrainian territory to achieve its own goals.

 

READ MORE:

https://www.rt.com/russia/576675-ukraine-f-16-win-war/

 

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Ukraine should not expect F-16 fighter jet deliveries from the West in the near future, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday, while expressing support for a plan to train pilots to fly the advanced jets.

Speaking on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Scholz stated that “what is connected with the training of pilots is a long-term project,” adding that the US has not yet decided what will happen at the end of the program.

“The project has a message for Russia: Russia cannot count on winning if it bets on a long war,” he said.

Scholz stated, however, that there is no chance Germany will take part in F-16 deliveries to Ukraine. “First of all, everyone knows that we don’t even have such aircraft.” 

The chancellor noted that Berlin is providing Kiev with what is “immediately important now,”including tanks, ammunition, and air defense equipment, adding that Germany “will support Ukraine for as long as it is necessary, financially, humanitarianly and also with arms.”

We have mobilized our resources,” he said. “We can continue to do this for a long time.”

The comments come after US President Joe Biden told G7 leaders on Friday that Washington will support a joint training program for Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s, which would take place in Europe.

This week, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that he and his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, agreed to establish an ‘international coalition’ to “provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting with everything from training to procuring F-16 jets,” with a number of European countries supporting the move.

On Friday, several US media outlets reported that Washington will not block its allies from sending F-16s to Ukraine, which Kiev has been requesting for months.

Commenting on the potential plans to send modern fighter jets to Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko said that Western countries are “sticking to the escalation scenario,”which is “fraught with colossal risks.”

“In any case, all our plans will take this into consideration, and we have all the necessary means to achieve our goals” regarding the military campaign in Ukraine, Grushko added.

 

READ MORE:

https://www.rt.com/news/576650-germany-ukraine-fighters-f16/

 

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see also:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmvPp_3elfk