Russia warns it is at WAR with ANY country hosting Ukrainian fighter jets and points finger at Romania in new escalation threat – as US gives Poland ‘green light’ to give Kyiv Migs.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has warned countries including NATO member Romania against hosting Kyiv’s military aircraft, saying they could end up being involved in an armed conflict.
Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a video briefing that some Ukrainian combat planes had redeployed to Romania and other Ukraine neighbours he did not identify.
He warned that if those warplanes attacked the Russian forces from the territory of those nations, it ‘could be considered as those countries’ engagement in the military conflict’.
Mr Konashenkov said: ‘We know for sure that Ukrainian combat aircraft have flown to Romania and other neighbouring countries.
‘The use of the airfield network of these countries for basing Ukrainian military aviation with the subsequent use of force against Russia’s army can be regarded as the involvement of these states in an armed conflict.’
The spokesman also claimed that ‘practically all’ Ukraine’s combat-ready aircraft had been destroyed.
His comments come as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today that plans for Poland to send fighter jets to Ukraine had been given the ‘green light’.
He told CBS’s Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan: ‘That gets the green light. In fact, we’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to backfill their needs if in fact they choose to provide these fighter jets to the Ukrainians. What can we do? How can we help to make sure that they get something to backfill the planes that they’re handing over to the Ukrainians?’
The US said it was working with Poland in order to orchestrate a deal that would allow Polish fighter jets to be flown by pilots from the Ukrainian Air Force in order to combat Russia’s air superiority.
The deal would see Ukraine take Poland’s 28 Russian-made MiG-29 warplanes, which would in turn be replaced by a fresh set of F-16’s by the United States.
The Polish Air Force operates both types of fighter aircraft in its combat operations.
Ukraine fears attack from the air may soon be the go-to choice of tactics by Russia after their ground offensive appears to be making far slower progress than the Kremlin had anticipated.
The White House is now working out the practicalities of carrying out such a deal, including the crucial question of how the Ukrainians would physically be able to get their hands on the planes.
‘There are a number of challenging practical questions, including how the planes could actually be transferred from Poland to Ukraine.
‘We are also working on the capabilities we could provide to backfill Poland if it decided to transfer planes to Ukraine,’ a White House spokesperson said to the Financial Times.
Poland, which is a member of NATO, would need to play the situation delicately and not be seen to overtly supporting the war unilaterally.
The Polish government is concerned Russian President Vladimir Putin would see the Ukrainian’s being given warplanes as a direct escalation or even NATO interference.
It comes as devastating images and videos today laid bare the horror of Vladimir Putin’s lawless invasion of Ukraine, as Russian troops unleash heavy gunfire and missiles on local residents.
Heartbreaking footage, taken in Irpin, located on the outskirts of the besieged capital city Kyiv, confirmed that Russian forces are attacking heavily populated civilian areas where men, women and children are leaving the country as the Russian tyrant continues denying bombing Ukrainian cities.
One image depicted a mother and her two children lying dead on the pavement after they were killed in Irpin as they tried to flee the city, whilst their father was wounded by a mortar shell as hundreds of civilians sought safety.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken today said there are ‘very credible reports’ that Russia has committed war crimes during its invasion of Ukraine – particularly in attacking civilians.
It came as a second attempt to evacuate refugees from Mariupol was scuppered again today after the city was shelled just minutes into an agreed ceasefire.
Some 400,000 residents were hoped to be evacuated from 12pm today, with an initial agreement in place until 9pm, but residents are now having to take cover in bomb shelters without electricity and water.
It followed similar attempts on Saturday when plans to evacuate refugees were halted when shelling recommenced 45 minutes into a ceasefire.
On Saturday, Putin said he would see any institution of a no-fly zone by a third party as ‘participation in the armed conflict’.
‘Poland is not in a state of war with Russia, but it is not an impartial country, because it supports Ukraine as the victim of aggression. It considers, however, that all military matters must be a decision of Nato as a whole,’ a Polish official said.
Polish president Andrzej Duda has previously brushed aside the entire idea noting that supplying the planes would be seen as essentially interfering in the conflict.
But the idea of Poland tacitly allowing Ukraine to borrow its fighter jets was given the thumbs up by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, who both argued that is NATO were refusing to set up a no-fly zone over Ukraine, then it could at the very least supply the Ukrainian air force with fighters.
Source: Mail Online