Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday that Poland could deliver MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine within four to six weeks if the alliance of allies signs off on the plan.
Morawiecki said last week that Poland was ready to supply Soviet-designed MiG-29 jets to Ukraine as part of a coalition of nations. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged allies to provide the jets, and Morawiecki has backed the plan. The US and other Western countries have suggested such a move would escalate the war.
The Polish military has about 28 jets, but the prime minister did not say how many he was willing to give to Ukraine. Slovakia has said it is considering replacing 10 of its 11 MiG-29 jets; Finally a museum visit.
Ukrainian pilots already fly MiG-29 fighters, so little or no additional training is required.
‘It is inhumane’:Poland, Slovakia 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 others in one of the main cities in Ukraine’s Donetsk province.
►Russia’s soccer team, banned from European and FIFA competitions, has been invited to the inaugural Central Asian Football Association Championship in June along with Afghanistan, Iran and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Mercenary Recruitment:Russia’s Wagner group recruiting in high schools; Moscow wants to renew grain deal short-term: Live Ukraine updates
A US drone crashes into the Black Sea after colliding with a Russian fighter jet
There was an “unsafe and unprofessional interception” by a Russian warplane The US military said it collided with an Air Force surveillance drone that crashed in the Black Sea on Tuesday morning.
Two Russian SU-27 fighter jets intercepted an MQ-9 Reaper drone and one of them clipped the drone’s propeller, showing the pilot’s “incompetence,” according to a statement from the US European Command. US operators were forced to shoot down the drone in international waters.
“While conducting routine operations in international airspace, our MQ-9 aircraft was intercepted and attacked by a Russian aircraft, causing the MQ-9 to crash and become a total loss,” Air Force Gen. James Hecker, commander of U.S. Air Force Europe and Air Force Africa, said in a statement. “In fact, it was this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians that caused both planes to crash.”
At a time when tensions between the US and Russia have risen over the Ukraine war, such meetings are “dangerous and could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation,” the statement said.
— Tom Vanden Brook
Ukraine is determined to protect Pakmut
As recently as last week, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy decided to send reinforcements to Baghdad after meeting with his top military leaders, the Ukrainian president stood by his plan to continue defending the compromised eastern city, regardless of the relentless Russian offensive.
There were reports that the Ukrainians were discussing a strategic retreat before Chief of the Armed Forces Valery Zalushny, and fellow generals advised Zelensky to stay because their forces were taking too many personnel and equipment from the Russians.
The strategy was in place after Zelenskyy spoke with Zaluzhny and other military leaders on Tuesday.
“After reviewing the course of security operations in the Pakmut sector, all employees expressed a common position on further holding and protecting the city of Pakmut,” Zelensky’s office said in a statement.
Bagmut, now largely hollowed out and devoid of inhabitants, is surrounded on three sides by Russian forces reinforced by the mercenaries of Wagner Group. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has said its value is largely symbolic, but Zalushni says protecting Buckmutt is of “vital strategic importance.”
“It is important for the stability of the security of the entire front,” he said.
Russian soldiers accused of raping a 4-year-old girl
Ukraine has accused two Russian soldiers of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and gang-raping her mother at gunpoint in front of her father, Reuters reported, citing Ukraine’s state prosecutor’s office. The attack was one of a series of alleged sex crimes committed by six Russian soldiers from the 15th Separate Motorized Rifle Regiment in March 2022 at four houses in the Brovary district near Kyiv.
The state attorney’s office is investigating more than 71,000 war crimes allegedly committed by Russian soldiers.
DeSantis dismisses the war as a ‘territorial dispute’ between Ukraine and Russia
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that helping Ukraine is not a top concern for the United States.
“While the United States has many core national interests — securing our borders, addressing the readiness crisis in our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural and military power of the Chinese Communist Party — it has become increasingly embroiled in regional conflict. The one between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” DeSantis responded to a Fox News questionnaire shared by Carlson on Twitter.
President Joe Biden has pledged to support Ukraine “until the end” — a position DeSantis has criticized for lacking defined goals.
– Sarah Elbeshbishi
Russia toughens punishment for defaming warlords
Russia’s parliament has approved amendments to the Russian Criminal Code that provide for harsher penalties for “disgraceful participants” in the war. The sentence includes up to 15 years in prison, including five years of forced labor, or seven years for repeated violations that endanger Russians. Fines can reach nearly $70,000.
The Kremlin says the amendments could be used to encourage self-criticism among military bloggers, especially if “the Kremlin’s tolerance for outspoken criticism exceeds”.
Contributed by: Associated Press