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Ukraine will need more advanced aircraft than MiG-29 fighter jets to defeat Russia, according to Air Force spokesperson Yuri Ihnat.
According to Ihnat, the jets will strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities when it comes to patrolling Ukrainian airspace, fighter cover, and intercepting mass missile and drone attacks.
However, the Soviet-era aircraft are ultimately "not effective" against Russia due to antiquated radar and missiles, Ihnat said.
Ukraine has been appealing to its Western allies for F-16 fighter jets to protect its airspace from Russian attacks and strengthen its upcoming counteroffensive. However, many allies, most notably the U.S. and Germany, have not supported the initiative.
A statement released by the White House on March 17 indicated that Poland's decision to send MiG-29s to Ukraine will not sway the U.S. decision to withold F-16 fighter jets, which U.S. President Joe Biden has deemed "unecessary" for Ukraine's current defense needs.
Critics argue that allies’ refusal to supply F-16, Typhoon and Dassault fighter jets and long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine will 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 and result in thousands of deaths.