KIYVE: A Ukrainian politician has asked the US to give Ukraine with air defence systems and fighter planes, claiming that the situation on the battlefield is “much worse” than it was at the start of the war.
“It’s awful right now” on the frontlines, Oleksandra Ustinova told reporters at a German Marshall Fund discussion in Washington on Friday. “We’re losing considerably more guys now than we were at the start of the conflict.”
“We can’t win this war with Soviet weapons because A. Russia has considerably more Soviet equipment, B. we don’t have someplace to buy ammo for this, and C. Russia just has more people and forces,” revealed Daria Kaleniuk, a senior Ukrainian civil society leader.
Ukraine no longer desires Soviet-era MiG fighter planes, according to Ustinova, since “the conflict has evolved.”
Instead, she stated that Ukraine requires the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), Paladin self-propelled howitzers, and fighter planes such as the F-16s to successfully oppose Russia, and she urged the US to begin training Ukrainian pilots to utilise such jets.
According to Kaleniuk, who recently met with Ukrainian defence authorities in Kyiv, Ukraine has “combat-experienced pilots who are eager and ready to go now for trainings.” They were willing to attend to trainings yesterday. But no decision has been made to accept them or deliver them since no decision has been made to deploy fighter planes.”
The US has begun to transfer heavy equipment to Ukraine, although no MLRS or fighter planes have been sent.
Ustinova and Kaleniuk, who were in Washington this week for discussions, say there is a lack of “political will that is required” for the administration to decide to deliver such heavy equipment – and swiftly – as well as a continuing concern of irritating Moscow.
They criticised the US for taking so long to supply the heavy weapons it is finally sending, with Ustinova adding, “If we had Howitzers two months ago, Mariupol would not have happened because they wouldn’t have been able to encircle the city and completely demolish it.”
“Time signifies hundreds of lives to us.” We’ve heard that the speed with which everything is moving and choices are being made is unparalleled. But there has never been a conflict like that since World War II. “Unfortunately, we keep begging here for speedier decisions,” she remarked.