Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday that Poland could supply Ukraine with the MiG-29 fighter jets within four to six weeks if a coalition of allies signed up to the plan.
Morawiecki said last week that Poland is ready to supply Soviet-designed MiG-29s to Ukraine as part of the coalition of countries. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged allies to provide the planes, and Morawiecki supported the plan. However, the United States and other Western countries rejected this, stating that such a step would intensify the war.
The Polish Army has about 28 of these aircraft, but the Prime Minister did not say how many he would be willing to commit to Ukraine. Slovakia said it was considering transferring 10 of its 11 MiG-29s. The last one will go to the museum.
Ukrainian pilots are already flying MiG-29 fighters, so very little or no additional training will be required.
“This is inhumane.”Poland and Slovakia are ready to send fighter jets to Kiev. updates
A Russian missile struck an apartment building in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, killing at least one person and injuring nine in one of Ukraine’s main city strongholds in Donetsk Province.
The Russian football team, which is banned from European competitions and FIFA, has been invited to participate in the inaugural CAF Championship in June along with Afghanistan, Iran and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Recruitment of mercenaries:Russia’s Wagner Group is looking for high school recruits; Moscow wants to renew grain deal for a short time: Ukraine Live Updates
A collision with a Russian fighter jet led to the downing of an American drone in the Black Sea
Russian fighter jet caused ‘unsafe and unprofessional interception’ The US military said a collision with an Air Force reconnaissance drone led to it crashing into the Black Sea on Tuesday morning.
The incident occurred when the MQ-9 Reaper drone was intercepted by two Russian SU-27 fighters and one of them clipped the drone’s propeller, demonstrating the “incompetence” of the pilot, according to a statement from the US European Command. The US operators were forced to shoot down the drone in international waters.
“Our MQ-9 was performing routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and struck by a Russian aircraft, resulting in the crash and loss of the entire MQ-9,” Gen. James Hecker, commander of the U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, said in a statement. statement. “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians caused both planes to crash.”
At a time of rising tensions between the United States and Russia over the war in Ukraine, this type of confrontation is “dangerous and can lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation,” the statement said.
– Tom Vanden Brooke
Ukraine remains committed to the defense of Bakhmut
Much like last week, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky decided to send reinforcements to Bakhmut after meeting with his top military commanders, the Ukrainian president is standing by the plan to continue defending the besieged eastern city despite Russia’s relentless onslaught.
There were reports that the Ukrainians were contemplating a strategic withdrawal before Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief, and his fellow generals advised Zelensky to stay the course due to the high losses in personnel and equipment their forces were holding off the Russians.
The strategy remained in place after Zelensky spoke on Tuesday with Zaluzhny and other military leaders.
“After reviewing the course of the defensive operation in the Bakhmut sector, all members of the General Staff expressed a common position on continuing to control and defend the city of Bakhmut,” Zelensky’s office said in a statement.
Bakhmut, now largely hollow and unpopulated, is surrounded on three sides by Russian forces backed by mercenaries from the Wagner Group. Defense Minister Lloyd Austin said its value is mostly symbolic, but Zalogny says the defense of Bakhmut is of “paramount strategic importance”.
“It is key to the stability of the entire front’s defense,” he said.
Russian soldiers accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl
Ukraine has accused two Russian soldiers of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and raping her mother at gunpoint, Reuters reports, citing the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office. The attack was one of a series of sex crimes allegedly committed by six Russian soldiers of the 15th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade in four homes in the Brovary district near Kiev in March 2022.
The Prosecutor General’s Office is investigating more than 71,000 suspected war crimes committed by Russian servicemen.
DeSantis dismissed the war as a “territorial conflict” between Ukraine and Russia
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to join the race for the Republican presidential nomination, telling Fox News host Tucker Carlson that helping Ukraine is not a vital interest of the United States.
“While the United States has many vital national interests—securing our borders, addressing the readiness crisis within our military, achieving energy security and independence and checking the economic, cultural, and military might of the Chinese Communist Party—becoming more embroiled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.” DeSantis wrote in response to a Fox News survey that Carlson shared on Twitter.
President Joe Biden has pledged to support Ukraine “as long as it takes”—a stance DeSantis has criticized for lacking specific goals.
– Sarah Al-Bashbishi
Russia tightens the penalty for defaming war leaders
The Russian Parliament approved amendments to the Russian Penal Code providing for harsher penalties for “defaming the participants” in the war. Punishment could include up to 15 years in prison, including five years of forced labor, or seven years for repeated violations that endanger the Russians. Fines can reach nearly $70,000.
The Institute for the Study of War says the Kremlin could use the edits to promote self-censorship among military bloggers, especially those whose “ventilation has outgrown the Kremlin’s tolerance for outspoken criticism.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
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