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Commander: Ukraine needs more attack aircraft

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 13, 2024 12:02 AM 2 min read
A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II taxis at Nellis Air Force Base on April 25, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Ukraine requires more attack aircraft, including jets to support infantry and planes to fire long-range missiles, Ground Forces Commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said in an interview with Reuters published on Jan. 12.

Syrskyi said that U.S.-made A-10 fighter jets, as well as attack helicopters like the Apache, could make a notable difference on the battlefield.

Ukraine reportedly requested Apaches and other advanced equipment during a closed-door session of the U.S.-Ukraine Defense Industrial Base Conference at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. in December 2o23.

It is unclear if the provision of such equipment by the U.S. or other Western allies is on the table.

Ukraine has pushed its Western allies to provide F-16s and other advanced aircraft since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The Netherlands and Denmark led the way in the summer of 2023 in forming an international coalition that would train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 jets.

Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and Belgium have agreed to supply their own F-16 aircraft to bolster Ukraine's Air Force, but they have not arrived yet.

The first Ukrainian pilots are expected to complete their F-16 training by the end of 2023 and be able to fly the jets in Ukraine by the spring or summer of 2024.

US Congress continues to fight over border security, stalling Ukraine aid
The latest round of comments about the failure of negotiations came after U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson said on Jan. 10 that he would block any legislation with aid for Ukraine unless it contained border security provisions unpopular with Democrats.

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