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F-16s in Ukraine may 'create conditions for counterattack,' Polish general says

by Kateryna Denisova July 9, 2024 4:13 PM 2 min read
F-16 fighter jets during a military parade in Warsaw on the day of the Polish army on Aug. 15, 2018, Warsaw, Poland. (Photo credit: Krystian Dobuszynski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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The arrival of F-16 fighter jets may help Ukraine create conditions for a counterattack, Jaroslaw Kraszewski, a retired Polish brigadier general, said in an interview with Ukrinform published on July 9.

Ukraine is expected to receive the first F-16 jets this summer, a year after Denmark and the Netherlands founded the "fighter jet coalition" with nine other countries at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July 2023.

Kraszewski believes that the arrival of F-16s will "dramatically change the situation" on the battlefield, although it is unlikely to be a turning point in Russia's full-scale war.

"I think a lot of positive things will happen for Ukraine then; the planes will create conditions for a counterattack," he said in the interview.

According to the Polish general, Western aircraft and missiles should help halt Russia's offensive in Kharkiv and Donetsk sectors, as well as "cyclically and effectively" destroy logistics deep inside Russia.

Kraszewski stressed that the West must allow Ukraine to strike deep inside Russia to allow the liberation of Ukrainian territories, a step that Washington has so far refused to take.

Under such conditions, Ukraine could launch a counteroffensive this fall, the general believes.

Belgium, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands have so far pledged more than 70 jets to Ukraine to be delivered from 2024 onwards. The latter two allowed Kyiv to use delivered F-16s to strike Russian soil.

"Ukrainian aviation should receive long-range missiles to destroy Russia's infrastructure, including airfields. When this happens, the logistics of the Russian army will be cut off from the main forces. If this is done, Ukraine's army command should form a strike group and strike back," Kraszewski said.

Navy Commander Oleksii Neizhpapa said that the upcoming delivery of F-16s to Ukraine will challenge Russia's "full dominance" of the skies over the Black Sea.

Ukraine wants to expand its shipping corridor, which facilitates the only maritime traffic from the three main Odesa ports, to include the ports of Mykolaiv and Kherson in the country's south, he added.

Ukraine’s airfields under fire as Russia braces for F-16s
As Kyiv gets ready to receive the first batch of Western F-16 fighter jets, Ukraine’s airfields face an uptick in Russian strikes. Over the past week, Moscow carried out at least three missile strikes targeting Ukrainian airfields — in Myrhorod, Poltava, and Kryvyi Rih — all located around 100 kilo…

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