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Poland to Provide Ukraine with MiG-29 Fighter Jets in Coming Days

Poland is set to become the first NATO member country to answer Ukraine’s request for warplanes, as President Andrzej Duda confirmed Thursday that the country will be providing four MiG-29 fighter jets to Kyiv in the coming days.[0]

The delivery of these planes comes as Ukraine is preparing for a counter-offensive against Russian forces, and the Ukrainian government has been vocally pushing western allies to provide fighter jets, arguing that they are necessary to defend against Russian missile and drone attacks.[1]

So far, the U.S. has supplied Ukraine with formidable weaponry, including the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and Javelin missiles, as well as agreeing to send M1 Abrams tanks to Kyiv. However, President Joe Biden has resisted authorizing sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

On Thursday, the White House declared that Poland's determination to dispatch fighter jets is a “sovereign decision” that will not lead President Joe Biden to dispatch F-16 planes.[2]

With the intention of obtaining the cutting-edge F-35s, Poland has been replacing its existing 28 MiG-29s with more advanced U.S.-made aircraft.[3] Meanwhile, Slovakia’s MiG-29 fleet is due to be replaced after an order with the US government for 14 Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 jets was signed in 2018.[4]

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine had acquired a substantial number of MiG-29s, however, after more than a year of conflict it is uncertain how many still remain in operation.[5]

This week, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov declared that a successful counteroffensive by Ukraine necessitates the use of fighter jets.[6] Reznikov stated that the earlier they acquire combat aircraft, the more people will be spared.[7]

Nine individuals suspected of “collaborating” with the FSB (Russian secret service agency) were detained by Polish authorities as part of an alleged espionage ring.[8]

The UK is training Ukrainian pilots on Nato-standard aircraft but has warned that supplying Western jets would only ever be a long-term option.[4] Olaf Scholz, German Chancellor, has declared that Germany will provide their highly desired Leopard 2 tanks.[9] President Joe Biden declared that the United States would be sending 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

0. “Poland to send Ukraine fighter jets; U.S. released footage of apparent drone collision” WBT, 16 Mar. 2023, https://wbt.com/540101/poland-to-send-ukraine-fighter-jets-u-s-released-footage-of-apparent-drone-collision/

1. “Poland to send four fighter jets to Ukraine ‘in coming days'” BBC, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-64975770

2. “U.S. not against other countries sending fighters jets to Ukraine – Kirby” Ukrinform, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3682517-us-not-against-other-countries-sending-fighters-jets-to-ukraine-kirby.html

3. “Poland will send fighter jets to Ukraine, the first NATO country to do so” NPR, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/03/16/1163895110/poland-will-send-fighter-jets-to-ukraine-the-first-nato-country-to-do-so

4. “To help Ukraine, UK explores supplying Eurofighter Typhoons to European MiG-29 operators” Breaking Defense, 14 Mar. 2023, https://breakingdefense.com/2023/03/to-help-ukraine-uk-explores-supplying-eurofighter-typhoons-to-european-mig-29-operators

5. “Poland to become first Nato country to supply fighter jets to Ukraine” upday Polska, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.upday.com/uk/poland-to-become-first-nato-country-to-supply-fighter-jets-to-ukraine

6. “Poland Sending MiG-29 Jets to Ukraine Could Be Turning Point” TIME, 16 Mar. 2023, https://time.com/6263986/poland-mig-29-fighter-jets-ukraine/

7. “Poland to deliver fighter jets to Ukraine in major escalation of military backing” The Guardian, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/mar/16/ukraine-poland-fighter-jets-mig-29

8. “Poland becomes first to pledge fighter jets to Ukraine” erienewsnow.com, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.erienewsnow.com/story/48561860/poland-becomes-first-nato-member-to-pledge-fighter-jets-to-ukraine

9. “Poland says it will send fighter jets to Ukraine” UPI News, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2023/03/16/Poland-Ukraine-fighter-jets-Duda-Biden-tanks/6791678999842/

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