Ukraine eyes fighter jets after tanks: ‘This is what we want’ | Russia-Ukraine war News

Ukraine says it would now push for Western fourth-generation fighter jets such because the American F-16 after securing dozens of high-end battle tanks from NATO allies.

Ukraine received an enormous enhance for its troops as america and Germany introduced plans to supply heavy tanks for Kyiv on Wednesday.

“The subsequent huge hurdle will now be the fighter jets,” mentioned Yuriy Sak, who advises defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov.

“If we get them the benefits on the battlefield can be simply immense … It’s not simply F-16s, fourth-generation plane, that is what we would like.”

Ukraine’s air pressure has a fleet of ageing Soviet-era fighter jets that got here off the meeting line earlier than Kyiv even declared independence greater than 31 years in the past. The warplanes are used for intercept missions and to assault Russian positions.

Western navy help has been important for Kyiv and has quickly advanced through the struggle. Earlier than the Russian invasion, even the thought of supplying deadly help to Ukraine was extremely controversial, however Western provides have since shattered taboo after taboo.

“They didn’t wish to give us heavy artillery, then they did. They didn’t wish to give us HIMARS programs, then they did. They didn’t wish to give us tanks, now they’re giving us tanks. Other than nuclear weapons, there may be nothing left that we are going to not get,” Sak mentioned.

Not an opportunity

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz mentioned there was no probability of fighter jets being despatched to Ukraine.

“I made it clear very early on that we aren’t speaking about fight plane, and I’m doing the identical right here,” he mentioned within the Bundestag.

Scholz added, “We is not going to ship floor troops underneath any circumstances. I’ve mentioned there can be no direct involvement of NATO troopers within the Ukraine struggle. That has not been the case up to now and that won’t be the case sooner or later. And everybody can depend on that.”

Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia final February, has additionally mentioned it needs to obtain long-range missiles from the West.

Moscow reacted furiously on Wednesday after Germany authorized the supply to Ukraine of Leopard 2 tanks, the workhorse of armies throughout Europe, a call sure to gird Ukraine’s offensive energy.

‘Stopping struggle from escalating’

Scholz mentioned Western allies would preserve supporting Ukraine, however he additionally highlighted the hazard of additional inflaming the battle.

“We should at all times make it clear in every thing we try this we’re doing what is important and attainable to help Ukraine, however that on the similar time, we’re stopping the struggle from escalating right into a struggle between Russia and NATO,” Scholz mentioned.

Justin Bronk, a researcher on the RUSI assume tank in London, mentioned Ukraine’s air pressure would profit tremendously from NATO fighter jets by way of air-to-air and probably air-to-ground lethality.

However he mentioned on Twitter they’d nonetheless be at excessive threat from Russian surface-to-air missiles, forcing them to fly very low close to the entrance line, one thing that “would dramatically scale back efficient missile vary and restrict strike choices”.

A Ukrainian pilot codenamed Juice advised Reuters information company final month a lot of his friends have been taking English classes of their free time in anticipation that Kyiv would sooner or later obtain international plane, such because the F-16.


‘Additionally want assault helicopters’

Final week, allies pledged billions of {dollars}’ price of navy help together with a whole bunch of armoured preventing automobiles and troop carriers. These are seen as simpler for attacking enemy traces when used alongside tanks.

Ukraine sees the weapons as restoring its momentum in a struggle that has currently develop into a bloody, deadlocked slog.

Former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko advised Euronews the following important weapon system wanted from the West is fighter plane.

“We additionally want assault helicopters and long-range missiles to achieve logistic bases and Russian commanding centres. We must always obtain these now earlier than Russia makes an attempt its nice spring offensive,” Poroshenko mentioned.

“The true recreation changer now could be the jet fighter. We must always instantly launch coaching programmes for Ukrainian pilots and put together to ship them to Ukraine.”

Head of Russia’s Wagner mercenaries has eyes on Bakhmut mines: US | News

White Home official says Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin needs to manage salt and gypsum from mines close to Bakhmut.

The US is of the view that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founding father of Russia’s Wagner Group, is all for taking management of salt and gypsum from mines close to the Ukrainian-held metropolis of Bakhmut, a White Home official stated.

There are indications that financial motives are driving Russia and Prigozhin’s “obsession” with Bakhmut, the official instructed the Reuters information company on Thursday.

The US has beforehand accused Russian mercenaries of exploiting pure sources within the Central African Republic (CAR), Mali, Sudan and elsewhere to assist fund Moscow’s warfare in Ukraine, a cost Russia has rejected as “anti-Russian rage”.

Out of Wagner’s drive of almost 50,000 mercenaries, greater than 4,100 have been killed and 10,000 others wounded in Ukraine. Of them,  greater than 1,000 had been killed between late November and early December close to Bakhmut, the official stated.

The Institute for the Research of Conflict (ISW) stated on Thursday that the Wagner Group is probably going in want of latest forces as a result of its heavy losses in Ukraine, notably of former prisoners who had been launched from jails in Russia and agreed to combat with the promise of incomes a pardon.

Prigozhin, who has been sanctioned by Western international locations for his position in Wagner, was featured bidding farewell on Thursday to former convicts who had served out their contracts in Ukraine and urged them to keep away from the temptation to kill when again in civilian life.

The Wagner chief seemingly engaged in publicising the “supposed pardons to reinforce the Wagner Group’s recruitment marketing campaign in Russian prisons”, the ISW stated, and to reassure the reported “80 % of deployed Wagner Group personnel in Ukraine who’ve been promised some sort of authorized reward for his or her participation in hostilities”.

“Prigozhin has more and more pinned his standing within the Russian ultra-nationalist pro-war group on the Wagner Group’s means to seize territory and, notably, on its offensive on Bakhmut,” the institute added.

“Prigozhin seemingly intends to additional encourage Wagner personnel and generate new paramilitary forces in a misguided and implausible effort to reverse the end result of the Bakhmut offensive.”

The White Home stated late final month that the Wagner Group took supply of an arms cargo from North Korea to assist bolster Russian forces in Ukraine, an indication of the group’s increasing position in that battle.

The mercenary drive emerged publicly for the primary time throughout Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014. Then, from 2015 onwards, Wagner appeared wherever Russia had geopolitical pursuits: first in Syria’s civil warfare on the facet of President Bashar al-Assad, then Libya, CAR, and Mali, amongst different international locations.

Prigozhin, who served 9 years in jail in Soviet instances for theft and different crimes earlier than going into enterprise through the Nineties, final 12 months admitted interfering in US elections and acknowledged for the primary time his position in founding Wagner.