As Ukraine continues to face an ever more desperate Russian onslaught, the smaller, non-nuclear nation has been holding their own against the Kremlin’s ground invasion. They’ve largely repelled the low-morale troops being sent across the border with rusty AK-47’s and 70-year-old tanks.
But what Russia lacks in quality soldiers they make up for in belligerence and a willingness to throw the entire kitchen sink at Ukraine’s major cities. This has led to requests from NATO and its western allies for high-tech weaponry and defenses, including US tanks and fighter jets.
While the tanks are on their way, it turns out that sending advanced warplanes was a step too far for many.
President Joe Biden said Monday that the US wouldn’t send F-16s to Ukraine, joining the UK and Germany, which have also ruled out sending their military fighters.
Kyiv’s allies have stepped up shipments of military hardware in recent weeks in an effort to bolster Ukraine’s forces ahead of a spring offensive that officials fear Russia may be planning. The US, Germany and the UK made u-turns earlier this month by promising to deliver heavy tanks to Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials believed that jets would be necessary.
“A victory of Ukraine without modern air force is scarcely imaginable,” Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Andrij Melnyk said on Twitter over the weekend. “That’s why we urgently need Western fighter jets like F-16 & F35 as well as Eurofighter & Tornado. Let’s do it together dear allies in DC & Berlin.”
Belgium has similarly suggested that it won’t be sending any fighter jets to Kyiv any time soon, stating sternly that the question was not even on the table.