After agreeing to send tanks to Ukraine last week following a number of requests, United States President Joe Biden on Monday said that the US would not provide the F-16 fighter jets sought by Ukraine in its battle against Russia, as reported by the news agency Reuters.
Biden’s decision comes as Russian forces claimed incremental gains in eastern Ukraine on Monday. This was followed by relentless battles that Kyiv described as human wave attacks that showed Moscow had no regard for the lives of its men.
The administrator of Russian-controlled parts of Donetsk province, Denis Pushilin, said that Russian troops secured a foothold in Vuhledar, whose ruins have been a Ukrainian bastion since the beginning of the war, Reuters reported.
According to Ukraine’s general staff, Russia has conducted air strikes and three missile strikes. One of the strikes was on Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine. It is also continuing operations in the areas of Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and elsewhere in eastern Ukraine.
According to Reuters, when asked if the United States would provide the jets, Biden said, “No,”. After securing supplies of main battle tanks, Ukraine was pushing for Western fourth-generation fighter jets such as the F-16, an adviser to Ukraine’s defence minister said on Friday. “The next big hurdle will now be the fighter jets,” Yuriy Sak, who advises Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told Reuters.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been warning for weeks that Moscow is looking to increase its assault after about two months of virtual stalemate along the front line that stretches across the south and east, Reuters reported.
Last week, after a months-long deadlock, the US and Germany both agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in its fight against Russia after a number of requests.The US seems set to start the process to send its M1 Abhram Battle tanks after Germany finally gave in to mounting international pressure and agreed to send at least 12 Leopard 2 tanks.
The decision also attracted a sharp reaction from Russia. The Russian envoy to the US said it would be a ‘blatant provocation’ the Guardian reported. “If the United States decides to supply tanks, then justifying such a step with arguments about ‘defensive weapons’ will definitely not work.
This would be another blatant provocation against the Russian Federation,” the international news daily quoted him as saying on the embassy’s Telegram messaging app on Wednesday.Responding to the reports, Ukraine President Zelenskyy said that even as Russia was preparing for a new wave of aggression, he had seen “a lot of effort, words, and promises” about tanks.
Earlier, Berlin had set a condition for the US over its supply to Ukraine. Berlin said that German-made tanks will be sent to Ukraine in its fight against Russia if the United States agrees to send its own tanks, news agency Reuters reported citing a Berlin government source.