Western allies differ over jets for Ukraine as Russia claims gains

  • Biden said “no” when asked about F-16s for Ukraine
  • Zelensky: Moscow wants to take “big revenge”.
  • The Russian administrator took his place in Vuhledar
  • When Western weapons arrive, Kiev can reclaim its territory – the group

KYIV, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s defense minister is expected to meet President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Tuesday as Kiev’s allies refuse to give U.S. President Joe Biden F amid a debate over whether to supply fighter jets in the war against Russia. 16s.

Oleksiy Reznikov, an adviser to the defense minister, said on Friday that Ukraine plans to buy the West’s fourth-generation fighter jets, such as the F-16, after securing a delivery of main battle tanks last week.

Asked at the White House on Monday whether the United States would provide F-16s, Biden told reporters: “No.”

But France and Poland are ready to meet any request from Ukraine, Macron told reporters in The Hague on Monday that “by definition, nothing is excluded” when it comes to military aid.

Speaking on French television ahead of Biden’s speech in Washington, Macron said any such move would depend on a number of factors, including the need to prevent escalation and ensure the plane “does not touch Russian soil.” He said Reznikov will also meet his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu in Paris on Tuesday.

In Poland on Monday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also did not rule out the delivery of F-16s to neighboring Ukraine, answering a question from a journalist before Biden’s speech.

Also Read :  World shares advance but face most monthly losses since 2008

In a statement posted on his website, Moravetski said any such transfer would be carried out “in full coordination” with NATO countries.

Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine’s presidential office, noted “positive signals” coming from Poland, and France “does not rule out” such a move in separate posts on its Telegram channel.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was in Japan on Tuesday, thanking Tokyo for the “aircraft and cargo capacity” it is providing to Ukraine. A day earlier, in South Korea, he called on Seoul to increase military aid to Ukraine.

Biden’s comments came shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was retaliating against Ukraine’s resistance to its invasion with relentless attacks in the east, where it was making increasing gains.

Zelensky warned that Moscow was aiming to step up its offensive after two months of virtual stagnation along the front line, which stretches across the south and east for several weeks.

Ukraine gained a major boost last week when Germany and the United States announced plans to supply heavy tanks, ending weeks of diplomatic deadlock over the issue. entered

Denis Pushilin, the administrator of the Russian-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, said the remnants of Russian troops were entrenched in the coal-mining town of Vuhledar, a Ukrainian stronghold, although he did not hint at a wider new Russian offensive. since the beginning of the war.

Also Read :  Migrants tell of mass kidnappings in Mexico before crossing into the U.S.

Pushilin said that despite “huge losses”, Ukrainian forces are strengthening their positions in industrial facilities.


According to Pushilin, Ukrainian forces have sent reinforcements to the towns of Bakhmut, Maryinka and Vuhledar, which stretch from north to south west of Donetsk city. Russia’s state news agency TASS said Russian troops were advancing there, but “it’s not clear, it’s literally fighting for every meter here.”

Oleh Zhdanov, a Ukrainian military analyst, said Ukraine still controls Maryinka and Vuhledar, where Russia’s attacks on Monday were less severe.

Pushilin’s adviser, Jan Gagin, said that the Wagner mercenary forces had been in partial control of the supply route to the city of Bakhmut, which has been the focus of Moscow’s attention for several months.

A day earlier, Wagner’s leader said his fighters were guarding the village of Blahodatne, north of Bakhmut, although Kiev said Blahodatne had repelled attacks.

Reuters could not independently confirm the battlefield reports. But the battlegrounds showed Russia’s slow but clear gains.

Russian forces shelled more than 40 settlements in Ukraine’s central Zaporizhzhia region and southern Kherson region. Among the targets was the city of Kherson, where there were casualties.

The army said the Russians also launched four rocket attacks on Ochakiv, south of Nikolaev, on the day Zelensky met with the Danish prime minister in the northeastern city of Nikolaev.

Western delays

Zelensky is calling on the West to speed up the delivery of its promised weapons in case Ukraine goes on the offensive, but many of the hundreds of tanks promised by Western nations are months away.

Also Read :  Queues form at fever clinics as China wrestles with COVID surge

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the 14 Challenger tanks donated by Britain would be on the front lines in April or May, without giving a specific timetable.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Western arms deliveries “will lead to the direct involvement of NATO countries in the conflict, but he cannot and will not change the course of events.”

The US-based Institute for the Study of War think tank said last year that “the West’s failure to provide the necessary supplies” was the main reason why Kiev’s progress had stalled since November.

The researchers said in their report that Ukraine could retake the territory even after the promised weapons arrive.

Russia and Belarus have begun a week-long training exercise in preparation for joint exercises to be held in Russia in September, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow sees as necessary to protect its neighbor from ties to the West, has killed tens of thousands of people and driven millions from their homes.

Report by Reuters Bureaus; Written by Doina Chiacu and Stephen Coates; Edited by Cynthia Osterman and Simon Cameron-Moore

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button