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According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the first batch of US-built F-16 fighter jets will be transferred to Ukraine in the coming weeks.

On the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington DC, Secretary Blinken confirmed that F-16s are being transferred from Denmark and the Netherlands. While speaking to reporters, Secretary Blinken added, “And those jets … will be flying in the skies of Ukraine this summer to ensure that Ukraine can continue to effectively defend itself against Russian aggression.” Despite this confirmation, Secretary Blinken declined to confirm the exact number of jets being transferred to Ukraine, citing operational security concerns.

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This comes as Ukrainian officials have consistently requested advanced Western aircraft. After repeated requests, President Biden approved the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine, initiating a lengthy training process for Ukrainian pilots. This process is particularly time-consuming since the F-16’s operating software is available only in English.

Additional requests & donations:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, present at the NATO summit, had been urging for increased financial and military aid. In a social media post this morning, Zelenskyy confirmed that Ukraine secured additional patriot systems and “dozens of other air defense systems” during his meetings with NATO members.

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Zelenskyy added that Ukraine was also preparing to “finalize two new security agreements, which include support for sanctions against Russia, our accession to the EU and NATO, the protection of our soldiers and people, and reconstruction efforts.”

Warnings from Russia:
Russia has warned Western countries that providing F-16s to Ukraine could lead to a direct conflict between Russia and any country providing them. Additionally, Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded to reports that Ukraine may house the F-16s in NATO countries and launch operations from there. He warned that any Western air bases hosting the F-16s would be considered “legitimate” targets for Russia.


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