Zelenskyy Says He Wants Warplanes Next

Zelenskyy Says He Wants Warplanes Next

(RightWing.org) – In late February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his military over the border to complete what he had started in 2014, conquering Ukraine. Since then, NATO nations, including the United States, have sent aid and weapons to the defenders as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has captured the attention of the world’s media and served as a rallying point for his country. He’s recently asked for even more equipment.

Leveling the Field

Russia has a modern military with a range of weapons that far outstrip those Ukraine can put on the battlefield to defend itself. On January 25, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced the United States would send 31 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs), enough to equip one battalion to assist in its defense.

The A2 Abrams tank has upgraded optics and controls over those of the original A1 version. It also has a classified metal material mix that creates a much stronger armor, but that feature will not be included on the ones sent to Kyiv. Additionally, it will take several months to provide the assets because the Pentagon simply does not have enough inventory. As a result, by the time tanks are available, it may be too late to defend against an expected spring offensive by the Russians.

Now, President Zelenskyy asking for more modern weapons –– fighter jets.

May We Have Some More, Please?

President Joe Biden and other world leaders were at first reluctant to make any major investments into weapons for Ukraine out of fear of the conflict widening into World War III. Whether the Russians were merely saber rattling to keep the Western nations at bay or serious in their threats, the Kremlin made sure to let the whole world know it had a nuclear arsenal it just might be willing to use.

When Zelenskyy spoke before Congress just before Christmas, he thanked America for the artillery it provided to his country, then went on to say, “is it enough? Honestly, not really.” He continued, proclaiming his belief that the United States could shorten the war, not by putting boots on the ground, but by equipping his soldiers who “can perfectly operate American tanks and planes themselves.”

In March, Poland had floated the idea of sending its fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets via the Americans, who would then provide Warsaw with more modern F-16 Fighting Falcons, an idea that was rejected by Washington. Now, however, it seems the Ukrainians will bypass the idea of getting aging aircraft and instead want fourth-generation, more modern aircraft, according to information provided to The Hill by an adviser to Ukraine’s Defense Secretary.

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