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Russia-Ukraine war live: Biden says the US will not provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine | Ukraine

Key events

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that Russia and Belarus have begun a week-long training session for the personnel of the joint command of their regional group of forces.

The exercise is part of preparations for a joint exercise the two countries will hold in Russia in September, the ministry said in a statement.

Ukrainian Defense Minister in Paris will ask Macron for planes

Ukraine’s defense minister is expected to meet with President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Tuesday amid a debate among Kyiv’s allies over whether to provide Kyiv with fighter jets for the war against Russia, after US President Joe Biden ruled out providing F-16s.

Speaking on French television ahead of Biden’s speech in Washington, Macron stressed that any such move would depend on several factors, including the need to avoid escalation and reassurance that the plane “will not touch Russian soil.” He said Reznikov would also meet with his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu on Tuesday in Paris.

Biden says US will not provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets

The United States will not provide the F-16 fighter jets Ukraine needs to fight Russia, US President Joe Biden said on Monday.

Ukraine planned to promote Western fourth-generation fighter jets such as the F-16 after securing supplies of main battle tanks last week, an adviser to Ukraine’s defense minister said on Friday. A representative of the Ukrainian Air Force said that it would take pilots about six months to learn how to fly such fighters.

Asked if the United States would provide the planes, Biden told reporters at the White House, “No.”

The brief exchange of views came shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia had begun to avenge Ukraine’s resistance to its invasion with relentless attacks in the east.

Zelenskiy has been warning for weeks that Moscow intends to step up its offensive against Ukraine after about two months of virtual stalemate along the front line that runs through the south and east.

Ukraine received a huge boost last week when Germany and the United States announced plans to provide heavy tanks, ending weeks of diplomatic deadlock over the issue.

“The next big hurdle will now be fighter jets,” Yury Sak, an adviser to Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov, told Reuters on Friday.

Welcome and summary

Hello and welcome to today’s live broadcast of the war in Ukraine. My name is Helen Sullivan and I will update you shortly.

Our big news this morning: The United States will not provide the F-16 fighter jets Ukraine has been seeking in its fight against Russia, President Joe Biden said Monday as Russian forces announced a series of incremental gains in the country’s east.

We will have more on this shortly. In the meantime, here are other key recent developments:

  • Andriy Yermak, senior adviser to Vladimir Zelensky, suggested that Poland is ready to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. Yermak said Ukraine had received “positive signals” from Warsaw in a Telegram message, though Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was careful to emphasize that his own country would only act in consultation with NATO allies as Ukraine’s lobbying for warplanes only intensifies. a few days after Germany and the US agreed to send tanks.

  • Zelenskiy has called for faster deliveries of Western weapons. Speaking in his overnight address, the Ukrainian president said Russia hoped to drag out the war and exhaust his country’s ability to resist the occupiers. “Therefore, we must make time our weapon. We must speed up events, speed up the supply and discovery of new necessary weapons options for Ukraine,” Zelensky said.

  • The Kremlin has warned that further Western arms sales to Ukraine would only lead to a “significant escalation” of the conflict. Kyiv is “demanding more and more weapons” while NATO countries are “more and more directly involved in the conflict,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said after Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk urged Germany to send him country submarine.

  • Russian forces continued shelling positions behind the front line in the area of ​​the eastern cities of Bakhmut and Donetsk. Moscow’s troops have been shelling Bakhmut in the Donbas for several months now, but in recent days the occupiers seem to have made another attempt to gain a foothold near the village of Vuhledar, 30 miles southwest of Donetsk.

  • The Ukrainian military and the Russian private military group Wagner claim to control Blagodatne in eastern Donetsk Oblast. “Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the area of ​​… Blagodatny … of the Donetsk region,” the Ukrainian military said, adding that their forces also repelled attacks in 13 other settlements of the Donetsk region. Wagner, designated by the United States as a transnational criminal organization, said on messaging app Telegram on Saturday that his units had taken control of Blagodatnoye.

  • The Russian government on Monday banned domestic oil exporters and customs officials from complying with Western-set price limits for Russian oil. The measure was taken to enforce President Vladimir Putin’s December 27 decree, which bans shipments of crude oil and petroleum products from February 1 for five months to countries that comply with the restrictions. The new Russian law prohibits legal entities and individuals from including mechanisms to limit oil prices in their contracts.

  • Ukraine’s state energy operator Ukrenergo has announced a “significant” deficit in the country’s energy system. due to damage caused by Russian missile strikes. Ukraine’s energy system “survived” 13 rocket attacks and 15 drone strikes by Russian troops, which “caused significant damage to high-voltage facilities and power plants,” he added.

  • In 2023, the Ukrainian military will spend about $550 million (£444 million/€505 million) on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and 16 supply agreements have already been signed with Ukrainian manufacturers. This was stated by Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov. Ukraine has received significant deliveries of drones from its partners, but Kyiv is now looking to ramp up domestic production to build what officials are calling a “drone army.”

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