(UnitedVoice.com) – When Russia invaded Ukraine, there was an expectation that the war would be over quickly. After all, Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly had one of the strongest militaries in the world and was a seasoned veteran himself; meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was a former comedian.
A year and a half later, the Russian military is being battered by weapons sent to Ukraine from Europe and North America. Zelenskyy is holding his own and protecting his country, while Putin has faced an uprising from his own people. Now, Ukraine’s allies are sending powerful planes to help out.
War to Reach New Heights — Literally
On Sunday, August 20, Denmark and the Netherlands announced they will provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. The announcement makes the two nations the first to commit to sending the planes to the war-torn nation.
Zelenskyy said the decision by the countries was a breakthrough for his country in its quest to acquire the deadly aircraft. The Ukrainian military has a fleet of jets from the Soviet era, but the president has been trying to procure F-16s for months. Russia will no longer have air superiority once the planes are in Ukraine and actively flying missions.
During a visit to the Netherlands, Zelenskyy said the country was going to send him 42 F-16s. However, it’s not clear how many will actually be sent. The president said the planes will be used to keep “Russian terrorists away from Ukrainian cities and villages.” Denmark’s Defense Ministry said it’s going to send 19 F-16s to the eastern European nation.
President Joe Biden has resisted Zelenskyy for months on the issue. In May, he decided he would no longer stand in the way of the deals taking place. He said NATO countries are allowed to train Ukrainian soldiers to fly the planes.
Reuters reported Zelenskyy said, “Today we are confident that Russia will lose this war.”
On Monday, the Russian ambassador to Denmark, Vladimir V. Barbin, claimed there would be “an escalation of the conflict” now that the nations have decided to send the jets. He claimed that Denmark was “hiding behind a premise that Ukraine itself must determine the conditions for peace,” and that’s forcing Ukraine to continue the war against Russia.
Barbin didn’t mention that Russia has occupied large portions of Ukraine and refuses to leave.
The remarks echo the position made by Russia in May, when Alexander Gruhshko, the Russian deputy foreign minister, said sending F-16s to Ukraine “carries enormous risks” of the war escalating.
Copyright 2023, UnitedVoice.com