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7:27 AM
Russian forces launched another drone attack targeting Ukraine's southern oblasts overnight on Oct. 1. Ukraine's air defense downed at least 15 drones over Odesa and Mykolaiv regions, Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson of Ukraine's Southern Operational Command, said on air.
6:50 AM
U.S. President Joe Biden signed a law averting a government shutdown that was set for midnight, according to the White House. Biden said that although the bill does not include financial assistance for Ukraine, he expects Speaker Kevin McCarthy "will keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment."
5:49 AM
Following a passage of a bill to avoid a government shutdown, top U.S. Senate leaders issued a rare bipartisan statement affirming their commitment to Ukraine. They expect the Senate will work "to ensure the U.S. government continues to provide critical and sustained security and economic support for Ukraine."
4:36 AM
At least four explosions were heard in Kharkiv, city Mayor Ihor Terekhov said via his official Telegram channel in the early hours of Oct. 1. Two explosions were also reported in the city of Snihurivka in Mykolaiv Oblast, according to regional authorities.
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5:50 PM
"Odesa is a beautiful historic city. It should be in the headlines for its vibrant culture (and) spirit," Borrell wrote on Twitter. "Instead, it marks the news as a frequent target of Putin's war."
5:15 PM
According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, he and Slovak Defense Minister Martin Sklenar discussed cooperation with Slovakia regarding the Ukrainian military's needs, the situation at the front line, and de-mining.
12:25 PM
Among other capabilities, the alliance will eventually pave the way for Ukraine to localize production of licensed foreign weapons on Ukrainian soil, said Andriy Yermak, head of the president's office. During his recent visit to Washington, Zelensky and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to have their teams hammer out a roadmap for this kind of localization.
11:21 AM
The ministry reported that, as Russia was attacking Ukraine's ports on the Danube river, air alert sirens were activated in the nearby Romanian cities of Tulcea and Galati as radar systems detected an unsanctioned object heading towards the latter in Romania's airspace.

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Politico: US senators from both parties pressing Pentagon to send F-16s to Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 15, 2023 9:52 AM 3 min read
An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft extended its landing gear to land at the U.S. military airfield at Spangdahlem. (Harald Tittel/picture alliance via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

A bipartisan group of eight senators is pressing the Pentagon chief to provide more information on what is needed to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, Politico reported on March 14, citing a senators' letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

"After speaking with U.S., Ukrainian, and foreign leaders working to support Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference last month, we believe the U.S. needs to take a hard look at providing F-16 aircraft to Ukraine," the senators wrote, as quoted by Politico. "This would be a significant capability that could prove to be a game changer on the battlefield."

As Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine has reached "a critical juncture," the senators requested Austin provide them by the end of the week with an assessment of the various factors necessary for the successful delivery of F-16s to Ukraine.

In the letter cited by Politico, the lawmakers asked the Pentagon head how highly Ukrainian officials value the fighter jets when requesting weaponry and where the F-16s might come from if approved — from new production or existing stockpiles.

They also inquired about the military's assessment of the F-16's impact on the war and how quickly Ukrainian pilots could learn to fly the fighters, according to the publication.

Ukraine needs Western aircraft to put an end to massacre of civilians, achieve victory

Ukraine has been requesting fighters for months to defend its skies and maximize the effectiveness of its combined arms forces during a future counteroffensive. Of all the available models, Ukraine has shown the most interest in the U.S.-built F-16, in service since the 1970s and operated by over 20 nations.

However, multiple Western allies, including the U.S. and Germany, have ruled out sending planes in the near term, while debates about their provision are ongoing.

A similar dynamic played out last year when Ukraine tried to secure modern Western main battle tanks from international supporters — after months of hesitation, the West eventually authorized and pledged tank deliveries to Ukraine in late January.

On Feb. 25, U.S. President Joe Biden dismissed President Volodymyr Zelensky's request to provide Ukraine with F-16 jets, saying "he doesn't need F-16s now." Biden also stated that the U.S. is sending what Ukraine needs at this time: "He (Zelensky) needs tanks, he needs artillery, he needs air defense, including another HIMAR(s)."

Days after Biden's statement, two Ukrainian pilots arrived at Tucson, Arizona military base to undergo F-16 "familiarization" training. The purpose of the training is to see how much time they would need to learn to fly various aircraft, including F-16, according to CNN.

Critics argue that allies’ reluctance 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.

Editorial: Arming Ukraine won’t escalate war. Reluctance to do so will
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