Poland and Slovakia to Provide Ukraine with Fighter Jets
After Poland became the first NATO country to commit to providing Ukraine with long-sought-after fighter jets on Thursday, fellow NATO member Slovakia followed suit on Friday, with Prime Minister Eduard Heger announcing the move. According to reporting from Reuters, Slovakia will send its fleet o...
- After Poland became the first NATO country to commit to providing Ukraine with long-sought-after fighter jets on Thursday, fellow NATO member Slovakia followed suit on Friday, with Prime Minister Eduard Heger announcing the move. According to reporting from Reuters, Slovakia will send its fleet of 11 MiG-29 planes, which were retired last summer. Only the jets in an appropriate condition (reportedly a minority) will be used for operations, and the remainder will go to Ukraine to provide spare parts. Heger also pledged to provide part of Slovakia's KUB air-defence system.1
- In a press briefing on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said the fighter jets would not change the course of Russia's 'special military operation,' stating that they would be destroyed. Meanwhile, Russia's defense ministry said it would bestow state honors on the pilots who intercepted the US surveillance drone that crashed into the Black Sea earlier in the week.2
- According to a report in the Crimean publication ForPost, citing a Russian defense ministry official, an underwater robot was lowered to the seabed near the coast of Crimea and has located the US drone at a depth of roughly 900m. Russian vessels have reportedly secured the perimeter while plans to salvage the drone are formulated.3
- Meanwhile, the Kremlin announced that Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping will make a state visit to Moscow on March 20-22, where he will meet with Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin. According to a statement, the two leaders will discuss 'pressing issues related to the future of relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China.'4
- Elsewhere, according to a report from a UN-backed inquiry released on Thursday, Russian attacks on civilians in Ukraine — including attacks on energy infrastructure, the use of torture, and deportation of Ukrainian children — amounted to war crimes. However, the inquiry did not find evidence of genocide as some politicians and analysts have suggested.5
- On the ground, Ukrainian officials reported that two civilians were killed and eight more were injured in Russian attacks on Donetsk over the past day. One civilian was reported injured in Kherson, while attacks were also recorded in Kharkiv and Sumy without reports of civilian casualties. Pro-Russia officials reported that three civilians were injured in Ukrainian attacks in Donetsk for the same time period.6
Sources: 1Yahoo news, 2Barrons, 3Metro, 4Tass, 5Associated Press and 6Ukrinform.
- Anti-Russia narrative, as provided by Los angeles times. Ukraine has repeatedly asked Western countries to provide them with fighter jets to help them overcome Russia's invasion. Slovakia's decision is a welcome move and more countries should follow their example in solidarity against Russian aggression.
- Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Tass. Poland and Slovakia's move shows their eagerness to rid themselves of outdated equipment, rather than an especially strong commitment to Kiev's forces. These fighter jets will do nothing to change the course of the war and will soon be destroyed by Russia.