Pentagon says Ukraine got fighter jets and spare parts

Pentagon says Ukraine got fighter jets and spare parts

Ukraine has received fighter jets and spare parts to bolster its air force, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday, refusing to specify their number or the countries that provided the aircraft.

Following the dispatch of howitzer artillery pieces announced by Joe Biden last week, the announcement, which comes at a time when Russia has launched a new offensive in the Donbass, testifies to a change in attitude of Western countries, which is more Has for more than a month refused to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine, in order to prevent further escalation of the conflict.

“Today (Ukrainians) have more fighters than two weeks ago,” the spokesman said during a press briefing.

“Without going into detail about what other countries are supplying, I would say that they have got additional aircraft and spare parts to increase their fleet,” he said.

These are probably the Russian-made MiG-29s that Kyiv has been seeking since the start of the conflict and which a handful of Eastern European countries have.

Poland had proposed transferring such aircraft through a US base in early March, but the United States opposed it, fearing that Russia could see too much direct involvement of NATO in the conflict. .

Mr Kirby did not name the donor countries, but he said these were in fact Russian-made devices. “Other nations that have experience with these types of aircraft are able to help them get more aircraft into service,” he said.

He said the United States had facilitated the shipment of spare parts to Ukrainian territory, but did not send aircraft there.

The United States and the European Union announced on Tuesday that they would not stop there.

– ” urgent ” –

Meeting by audioconferencing, French leaders Emmanuel Macron, British Boris Johnson, German Olaf Scholz, Romanian Klaus Iohannes, Polish Andrzej Duda, Italian Mario Draghi, Canadian Justin Trudeau and Japanese Fumio Kishida reached “a broad consensus on the need to increase pressure on the Kremlin”. . ,” said the Italian government.

In particular, she “reaffirmed her commitment to continuing her military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine”, according to White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

A Downing Street spokesman said Boris Johnson “informed other leaders on his visit to Kyiv this month.” “They underscored the urgent need for additional military assistance to Ukraine in the face of a major Russian offensive in the Donbass and continued attacks elsewhere.”

The first batch of the new tranche of US military aid to Ukraine has already arrived at the country’s borders to be handed over to the Ukrainian military, and the United States will train Ukrainian troops in the use of M777 howitzers, the latest generation of artillery pieces. Will do That the United States has for the first time decided to hand over to the Ukrainian military.

Even though their operation is not fundamentally different from the artillery with which the Ukrainian military is familiar, these guns use 155 mm shells used by NATO countries, while Ukraine still has Russian-made 152 mm. There are no balls.

The transfer of weapons to Ukraine every day since the start of the invasion has been done with caution, with the participating countries not wanting to appear as belligerents in this conflict.

According to Czech media, Prague sent trains loaded with T-72 tanks and Soviet-made armored vehicles to Ukraine in early April, an unprecedented operation. Official sources refused to confirm this information.

The Czech Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that Czech arms companies would repair Ukrainian heavy military equipment following a recent request by officials in Kyiv.

Initially, subsidiaries of the industrial holding Czechoslovak Group (CSG) would handle repairs to Soviet-designed T-64 medium tanks operated by Ukrainian forces, but in the future repairs could be extended to BRD and BRDM armored vehicles, That includes other Czech companies, according to a ministerial statement.

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