Ukrainian officials are asking members of the US Congress to pressure President Joe Biden’s administration to send F-16 fighter jets to Kiev, lawmakers said, asserting that the planes would enhance Ukraine’s ability to strike Russian missile units with US-made missiles.
The demands came at the weekend on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference during talks between Ukrainian officials, including Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and Democratic and Republican members of the Senate and House of Representatives.
US F-16 fighters – Reuters
“They told us they wanted (the F-16s) to crush the enemy’s air defenses so they could launch their drones” behind the Russian front lines, Senator Mark Kelly told Reuters on Saturday evening.
Mark Kelly is a former astronaut who has flown US Navy fighters in combat.
F-16 fighters (AFP)
Last month, Biden said “no” when asked if he would agree to Ukraine’s request to send Lockheed Martin F-16s.
Kelly and three lawmakers who spoke to Reuters about their consultations with Ukrainian officials said they believed support was growing in Congress for the supply of F-16s to Ukraine.
In a few days, the Russian military operation in Ukraine will be its first year. Battles rage between the two sides today, Sunday, as the Russian army is trying to extend full control over Ukrainian regions, while Kiev continues to receive military and logistical support from its allies.
In the latest developments, Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath correspondent reported that the Ukrainian forces targeted the neighborhoods of the city of Donetsk, this morning, with showers of Polish and Czech “Vampire” missiles. The city, in the middle of hearing the sound of the Russian air defenses, and there is no news of dead and wounded so far.
On the other hand, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the killing of more than 300 Ukrainian soldiers, and the destruction of an American-made radar system in addition to ammunition stores and a stationing point for Ukrainian army drones.