U.S. to send MiG 29 aircraft to Ukraine
The Biden administration has reportedly sold old ex-Moldovan MiG-29 fighters to Kiev to serve as a source of spare parts to maintain it´s remaining aircraft.
According to different media reports, the MiG-29 fighters that Ukraine will receive are not in flying condition, and are part of a purchase made by the United States in 1997 from Moldova, for about twenty units.
US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby, without wanting to go into details about the type of aircraft supplied to Ukraine or their operational status, commented as follows; «They have more fighter aircraft at their disposal today than they did two weeks ago.» «Without going into details about what other countries are supplying, I would say they have received additional aircraft and spare parts to augment their fleet,» he then added.
Although Western countries have been gradually increasing their military aid to Ukraine, incorporating more and more heavy equipment, such as self-propelled howitzers, mine-resistant armored vehicles and even Mi-17 helicopters among their deliveries, the demand for modern fighter jets remains unsatisfied.
For weeks now, Kiev has been asking it´s Western allies to supply it with modern fighters. The possibility of transferring MiG-29s from Poland, Bulgaria or was first considered, but the risk of escalating the conflict was deemed unacceptable by Washington, which the operation.
Then such as the F-16, F-18 or even the F-15, arguing that its pilots could adapt to the new mount in a matter of weeks, but this option received even less consideration than the previous one.
Finally the Ukrainian Air Force pilots decided to take matters into their own hands, adopting an original tactic.
Using the massive power of the Internet and social networks, they directly appealed to the world’s millionaires (who were sympathetic to their cause) to privately acquire and transfer the fighters they needed to stay in the fight, under the initiative.
So far, this shipment of MiG-29 Fulcrums from the United States is the closest Ukraine has come to getting the coveted fighter aircrafts.
It is not what the Ukrainian Air Force is asking for and needs, but it is evidence that military assistance is increasing, and the level of commitment of Western countries in this war is increasing. If the Ukrainian defenders can buy enough time (paid for at a high cost in lives), the needed fighters could eventually arrive in the medium term.