The US discussed the possibility of Poland sending fighter jets to Ukraine

The White House confirmed that the United States is discussing with Poland the possibility of Warsaw providing fighter jets to Ukraine, as well as consulting other allies.

A White House spokesman said on March 5 that according to discussions with Poland, the United States was determining “capabilities that we can provide to compensate Poland if it decides to transfer aircraft to Poland.” Ukraine”, but did not detail what offset options were being considered.

According to a White House spokesman, sending fighter jets to Ukraine is a “sovereign decision for any country” and noted that there is a lot of logistical work done, including how the aircraft was shipped from Poland to Ukraine.

Two parliamentarians who participated in an online meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and US senators on March 5 said that the Ukrainian leader said that Poland had signaled that it was ready to send MiG fighters but was “waiting for the US to agree”. “.

Poland is operating 28 MiG-29 fighters, the most in NATO, including 23 single-seat fighters and the two-seat MiG-29UB training variant. This is a 4th generation light fighter developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and entered service in 1982.

The MiG-29 has a maximum speed of 2,400 km/h, a ceiling of 18 km and a flight range of 1,430 km. The basic MiG-29 series is equipped with a 30mm GSh-30-1 cannon, 7 weapon racks and auxiliary oil tanks, which can carry up to 3.5 tons of weapons including R-27 and R-27 surface-to-air missiles. R-73, as well as various bombs and rockets.

Polish MiG-29s have undergone many upgrades to ensure operational capability until 2025, while the main combat role is currently assigned to a squadron of 48 F-16 Block 52+ and The future is 32 F-35As.

Also during the video conference lasting more than an hour, the President of Ukraine called on Washington to impose stronger sanctions on Russia, including on energy, and more military support for Ukrainian forces. . He thanked the US support, but the general message was that Kiev needed more help.

The White House later confirmed that President Joe Biden spoke with Zelensky for about 30 minutes. Zelensky confirmed about the call, saying he discussed with President Biden “issues of security support, financial assistance to Ukraine and continued sanctions against Russia”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks in Kiev on March 4.  Photo: AFP.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks in Kiev on March 4. Photo: AFP.

The President of Ukraine informed US senators that Russian forces were in control of two nuclear power plants, Zaporizhzhya in the southeastern city of Enerhodar and Chernobyl in the north of the country.

Zaporizhzhya is Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant, which has been controlled by Russian forces since March 4. The Chernobyl plant is currently inactive but is still staffed and maintained by Ukraine.

The President of Ukraine said that Russian forces are moving towards the third nuclear power plant, Yuzhnoukrainsk in Mykolaiv province, southern Ukraine. According to Zelensky, this is one of a number of cities that Russia is seeking to encircle.

Fighting between Russia and Ukraine caused a fire at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant at dawn on March 4, but the fire was extinguished later. The International Atomic Energy Agency said that technical safety systems were not damaged and radiation levels were normal at the Zaporizhzhya plant. Two of the six reactors at the plant are operational.

Excluding Chernobyl, Ukraine has four operating nuclear plants with a total of 15 reactors. US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on March 5 that Russian troops were approaching Ukraine’s second-largest nuclear power plant, but did not name the plant.

According to Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear power plant watchdog, Yuzhnoukrainsk is the country’s second-largest nuclear facility in terms of generating capacity.

“The Russian president must avert this humanitarian catastrophe by ending the war and stopping the attacks,” the US ambassador added. “The international community must unanimously demand that Russian forces stop attacking.”

Location of Ukraine's nuclear power plants and the number of reactors (red dot) at each plant.  Graphics: Business Insider.

Location of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and the number of reactors (red dot) at each plant. Graphics: Business Insider.

Ukraine says a no-fly zone has been one of the key demands it has made to its Western allies since Russia launched its military campaign. Proponents of the idea believe that the no-fly zone will cut off Russia’s air activities, preventing the momentum of the Russian army from advancing towards Kiev.

However, US President Joe Biden’s administration official expressed a clear and consistent view that he would not consider the option of establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine for fear of dangerous consequences. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also agreed that establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine “could provoke all-out war in Europe”.

In a speech yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin also said that any country that imposes a no-fly zone over Ukraine “will be considered to be participating in armed conflict” with Moscow.

Russia opened a special military operation in Ukraine from February 24 and the fighting has entered the 11th day. Russian forces have controlled the large city of Kherson in southern Ukraine and are besieging and shelling a series of cities. , including the capital Kiev and Kharkov, the country’s second largest city. Moscow insists it only targets military infrastructure.

The Ukrainian government is said to have offered to hold more talks with Russia, after the first two rounds of talks failed to yield a ceasefire. The Russian official said the next negotiation could take place on March 7.

Huyen Le (According to Times of Israel, CNN)

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