During his nightly address on Feb. 27, President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed the critical importance of modern combat aircraft for Ukraine's defense and said that the country's allies need to move past their taboo on supplying aircraft to Ukraine.
Zelensky referenced today's drone attack on Ukraine to further his point. Only 11 out of the 14 drones launched by Russia were successfully shot down. Furthermore, three workers from the State Emergency Service in Khmelnytskyi sustained injuries and two lost their lives.
"Our pilots, our anti-aircraft fighters, all the soldiers and specialists of our Air Force are already doing a great job. But we will be able to fully protect the sky when our partners move past the aviation taboo," he said.
Western leaders have provided Ukraine with tanks and other ammunition for the battlefield but remain hesitant to supply the country with fighter jets, fearing escalation.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed on Feb. 22 that his country is ready to help other countries if they provide fighter jets to Ukraine but argued that supplying them would be "complicated."
U.S. President Joe Biden said in an interview with ABC News on Feb. 24 that he has ruled out giving Ukraine advanced fighter jets “for now.”
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.