Ukraine secures access to 20 more fighter jets after spare parts delivery
A senior Pentagon official said that the delivery of spare parts facilitated by the US and its allies gave Ukraine access to 20 more fighter jets to supply Kyiv’s air force. firepower needed as they tried to fend off a new Russian attack.
“[Ukraine has increased their fleet] more than 20. . . because of the work that the United States and the international community have done to help them get the parts they need to get them into the air,” the senior US defense official said Wednesday, adding learn more that the country was in a stronger position three weeks ago.
The delivery of the plane’s replacement parts is the latest example of the growing openness of the US and its allies to sending heavier weapons to Ukraine, as Russia begins a new offensive. in the east and south of the country, but failed to capture Kyiv.
Last week, President Joe Biden announced $800 million in additional lethal aid to Ukraine, including expanding US support to include Heavy Artillery. The US is expected to announce an additional $800 million in aid this week.
Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, said on Wednesday that Western countries are ready to send more lethal weapons in recent days. “It has become warmer, in terms of weapons. We have a warmer relationship, the West has a warmer attitude towards Ukraine. It became clearer when we were able to get that military equipment.”
“I’m not ready to say how many planes will come,” he added. Of course I’m not ready to go into the details of what we’re getting.”
Meanwhile, John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said he was wrong on Tuesday when he said Ukraine had received “the entire aircraft” from another country.
“I have understood that another country in the region has made an offer to supply all fixed-wing aircraft to Ukraine. . . was actually done. It didn’t,” he said.
Kirby added: “That said, the Ukrainians got it. . . enough spare parts and additional equipment to enable them to put more fixed-wing aircraft into service in their fleet than even two to three weeks ago.
“They were able to increase their fleet quite a bit.”
There have been live chats about the transfer the entire MiG-29 . fighter aircraft with Ukraine, US and European officials said, but doing so would present logistical challenges. Some Western defense officials also fear that a full supply of aircraft could escalate the conflict, although others have become less concerned about such an outcome. war basis.
A European official said: “It is very complicated to power the jet. “We always have to find the right balance between what [Ukraine is] ask and in addition, what will be easily delivered in a very short time frame and also to consider precisely what might be too escalatory for Russia. “
The United States has also expanded its involvement in the conflict by beginning to train a small group of about 50 Ukrainian forces outside the country in how to use grenade launchers, the senior US official said. The official declined to say where the training took place.
“This is training the coach,” the official said. “They will be trained in the use of explosive devices and then they will be able to return to Ukraine and train their colleagues.”
Additional reporting by Henry Foy in Brussels