– Russia Conflict: ‘All Russia neighbours under threat if Ukraine doesn’t win’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky advised a crowd in Denmark on Monday that promised deliveries of US-made F-16 fighter jets had made him assured Ukraine may finish Russia’s invasion. Denmark and the Netherlands on Sunday introduced they’d provide the primary F-16s to Ukraine, with the preliminary six as a result of be delivered round New Yr. Washington had permitted the supply of the jets forward of Zelensky’s journey to Copenhagen. “As we speak we’re assured that Russia will lose this conflict,” Zelensky advised hundreds of people that gathered outdoors the Danish parliament to listen to his speech. “All of Russia’s neighbours are underneath menace if Ukraine doesn’t prevail,” he mentioned earlier than heading to Greece, the fourth European nation he’s visiting in three days.
Russia warned earlier that supplying the jets to Ukraine would solely escalate the conflict. “The truth that Denmark has now determined to donate 19 F-16 plane to Ukraine results in an escalation of the battle,” Russian ambassador Vladimir Barbin mentioned. “We donate weapons underneath the situation that they’re used to drive the enemy out of the territory of Ukraine. And no additional than that,” Danish defence minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen mentioned. Denmark will ship 19 jets in whole. The Netherlands has 42 F-16s out there in all however has but to determine whether or not all of them shall be donated. Zelensky has known as the choice a “breakthrough”.
The Ukrainian navy mentioned the jet was important to the success of its counteroffensive, which has proceeded slowly since its launch in early June. “Superiority within the air is vital to success on the bottom,” air drive spokesman Yuriy Ihnat mentioned.
Nevertheless, getting Ukrainian squadrons battle-ready may take for much longer. US Air Pressure Gen. James Hecker, commander of US air forces in Europe and Africa, mentioned final week that he didn’t count on the F-16s to be a game-changer for Ukraine. Getting F-16 squadrons prepared for battle may take “4 or 5 years,” he mentioned. Whereas some coaching has already begun for Ukrainian pilots, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte mentioned Sunday it is simply language classes to this point. Coaching Ukrainian pilots is simply one of many challenges within the anticipated deployment of F-16s. Questions additionally stay over who will perform essential plane upkeep, the availability of spare components, runway upkeep and protecting shelters for the planes on the bottom, and what weapons the West will provide to arm the fighter jets.

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