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Ukraine's F-16 Fighter Jets: Impact, Concerns, and Putin's Warning

Ukraine's F-16 Fighter Jets: Impact, Concerns, and Putin's Warning

Ukraine to Receive F-16s from Western Allies

Imminent Arrival of F-16 Fighters in Ukraine

A senior UK military official has informed the Evening Standard newspaper in London that the Western allies will deliver F-16 fighters to Ukraine in the coming weeks. The aircraft are expected to arrive by June or July at the latest. This follows the US's authorization for NATO countries to provide the US-made fighters to Kiev, as Russia continues to control the skies and damage Ukraine's energy infrastructure through regular attacks. The decision by the Biden administration was hailed as a "breakthrough" by Zelensky.

NATO Countries Involved in the Program

Even smaller NATO countries such as Denmark are reportedly participating in the transfer of a few of their F-16s. Other countries involved in the program include the Netherlands, Norway, and Belgium. Some of these planes are currently at a training facility in Romania, as efforts to train Ukrainian pilots for aerial combat in the Western fighters are nearing completion.

Dutch Commitment and Question of Impact

The Dutch are playing a significant role, having pledged to deliver a total of 24 F-16s to Ukraine's armed forces. However, with Ukraine's acknowledged struggle in the conflict, questions arise whether these US-made fighter jets will make a significant difference at this late stage where Moscow's dominance is clear. The Evening Standard frankly stated that US officials have privately admitted that the jets will not be a game-changer when they finally arrive after months of training, given the strength of the Russian air force and its defense systems.

High Cost and Potential Humiliation

Thus, aircraft worth tens of millions of dollars each are being prepared for a potential shoot-down, which could result in a significant embarrassment for the West. Putin has already pledged that his forces will prioritize targeting Western-supplied fighter jets. In a March address to pilots, the Russian leader stated that they would destroy their warplanes just as they destroy their tanks, armored vehicles, and other equipment, including multiple rocket launchers.

Putin's Warning and Russia's Concerns

Notably, he warned that even bases in Western countries could become targets if Ukraine launches sorties from them. Putin stated that if they are used from airfields of third countries, they become a legitimate target for us, no matter where they are located. Since last summer, the Kremlin has been emphasizing that F-16 fighter jets can carry tactical nukes, which are in the possession of select NATO countries. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained that Moscow cannot ignore the nuclear capability of US-designed F-16 fighter jets that may be supplied to Ukraine by its Western backers. He even suggested that it would be perceived as a threat from the West in the nuclear domain.

Closing Thoughts

This development raises several questions about the potential impact and implications of the F-16s' arrival in Ukraine. Will these high-cost fighter jets make a significant difference in the ongoing conflict, or will they simply lead to further escalation and potential humiliation for the West? We invite you to share your thoughts on this matter. Don't forget to share this article with your friends and sign up for the Daily Briefing, which is delivered every day at 6 pm.

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Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

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