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Zelensky: Ukraine to receive 42 F-16 fighter jets

by Alexander Khrebet August 20, 2023 4:16 PM 2 min read
French-made Rafale fighters and a Polish Air Force US-made F-16 take part in a military parade in Warsaw on Polish Army Day, August 15, 2023. (Photo by Wojtek Radwanski/AFP via Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Aug. 20 that Ukraine would receive 42 US-made F-16 fighter jets.

“Mark Rutte and I agreed on the number of F-16s that will be provided to Ukraine - after training our pilots and engineers. 42 aircraft. And this is just the beginning,” Zelensky said in a Telegram post after meeting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and a visit to the air base in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, on Aug. 20.

Zelensky also posted a selfie with Rutte with an F-16 jet in the background inside a hangar, saying it was a "breakthrough arrangement.”

“(The F-16s) will be in the Ukrainian sky. Thank you, Netherlands! Thanks Mark! Thanks to everyone who helps! We will win!” said Zelensky.

The Netherlands and Denmark confirmed on Aug. 18 they had received approval from the U.S. to hand over F-16s from their arsenal to Ukraine after pilots and engineers are trained.

Ukraine has been campaigning for U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to help counter Russia's air superiority, with many believing that it is necessary to achieve success on the battlefield.

Ukrainian pilots, engineers, and technicians have already started a six-month training session on U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on national television on Aug. 19.

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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