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Czech Republic to provide 2 Kub air defense systems to Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 10, 2023 9:06 PM 2 min read
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The Czech Republic will provide Ukraine with two Kub mobile surface-to-air missile systems, České Noviny reported on May 10.

Czech President Petr Pavel said during a radio interview on May 10 that Prague is also considering sending Aero L-159 ALCA fighter jets to Ukraine.

"It is worth thinking about whether we could provide Ukraine with our L-159 aircraft with a certain prospect of rearmament because even as direct air support aircraft, they could significantly help Ukraine in a counteroffensive," Pavel said.

However, according to Pavel, the "decisive factor" for Ukraine to win against Russia is a sufficient amount of ammunition and military equipment because the "decisive part of the battle will have to take place on the ground."

Pavel added that the Czech Republic had already provided Ukraine with "about a hundred tanks and the same number of armored personnel carriers," České noviny wrote.

Ukraine has repeatedly appealed to its Western allies for F-16 fighter jets to protect its airspace from Russian attacks and strengthen its upcoming counteroffensive. However, Western allies have so far rejected the idea.

Critics argue that allies’ refusal to supply F-16, Typhoon, and Dassault fighter jets and long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine could prevent Kyiv from launching a counteroffensive and liberating the rest of Ukrainian territory. Ukraine’s lack of advanced aircraft and missiles will likely prolong Russia’s war of aggression.

Regarding the ongoing debate surrounding modern fighter jets, Pavel said that western countries have refrained from providing them thus far not only because training takes time, but also that the technology has "secret systems" that cannot risk falling into the hands of Russia.

"But I know that negotiations are ongoing, and let's not be surprised if, in the end, Ukraine will get some F-16s, perhaps with a dismantled part of this equipment," Pavel said.

Editorial: Arming Ukraine won’t escalate war. Reluctance to do so will
First it was the tanks, now it’s the fighter jets. As Ukraine braces for another possible major Russian offensive in the upcoming weeks, Western leaders are yet again coming up with a variety of excuses why this time, they cannot justify supplying F-16 and F-35 fighter jets to Ukraine.
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