Previous war experience suggests providing Ukraine aircraft as soon as possible. The worldʼs leading media about the war on February 13

Anton Semyzhenko


A column about the need to transfer modern combat aircraft to Ukraine as soon as possible in the influential Washington publication The Hill was published by an American military pilot with more than 30 years of experience, a participant in operations in Afghanistan and the Balkans, as well as a military attaché in the US embassies in Austria and Kosovo, Jeffrey Fisсher. He insists that the procrastination of Ukraineʼs allies with the transfer of aircraft now has only a political basis, and from a military point of view, the need for this is obvious. After all, the same "American military doctrine prioritizes the tactics of a significant advantage over the enemyʼs forces, because this brings victory. Otherwise, the prospects of a long and brutal war of attrition are growing." A gradual build-up of military power is politically, perhaps, safer, writes Fisсher. However, it became, for example, one of the reasons for the defeat of the USA in the Vietnam War. When the enemyʼs troops and its allies had time to adapt to the new capabilities of the pro-American side. Instead, Operation Desert Storm was a success thanks to the significant superiority of US and allied forces, particularly in the air. If Ukraine gains control of the sky now, it will significantly limit the capabilities of the Russians. Because the armed forces will be able to act more freely, "covered" from above — and the occupiers, on the contrary, will have to hide more, and it will be almost impossible to talk about offensive attempts at all. However, this advantage can be given to Kyiv by missiles that their planes are able to use at least at medium altitudes, and now Ukrainian pilots fly as low as possible so as not to be shot down by anti-aircraft forces. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to limit the capabilities of Russian air defense, Fischer writes, through the uninterrupted supply of HARM anti-radar missiles. As soon as this forces the Russian anti-aircraft installations to "roll back" away from the contact line, the Ukrainian F-16 pilots will be able to inflict considerable damage on the Russian ground forces. A separate advantage of the strengthening of the Ukrainian aviation by the West is that it sharply reduces the number of military casualties — and for both armies, because the target is mainly equipment, not enemy infantry. Thus, during the Balkan campaign, NATO troops flew more than 30,000 sorties and lost only two planes shot down.

The problem for the global food market was not only Russiaʼs blockade of Ukrainian seaports, writes the American publication Forbes, but also mined Ukrainian fields. In a large article, the publication examined the problem comprehensively — both how much time and money it might take to clear the Ukrainian territory of mines and shells, and what damage it would cause to the world grain or oil market. Sometimes even a single mine in a field renders it unfit for crops, and it can take weeks of specialist work to clear it. According to representatives of the British non-governmental organization HALO Trust, which is engaged in demining, there is a long queue of applications from Ukrainian farmers for their services. This is work for many months, considering that up to 40% of the Ukrainian territory can be potentially mined. Ukrainian farmers are also now faced with numerous other problems that they did not have before the war: granaries destroyed or mutilated by the Russians, high fuel prices, difficulties in finding and transporting grain for crops, power outages. All this creates prerequisites for the crisis in the global food market to continue this year.

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