Kiev/Moscow, (BLAZETRENDS) Ukrainians harass the enemy and gain ground around the city.
“We agreed in the UK with Prime Minister Rishi (Sunak) that we will work in a coalition of combat aircraft: training, aircraft, results,” Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said in his daily address.
In addition, he noted that this proposal has the support of French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
“In particular, Belgium also confirmed its willingness to train pilots,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential office.
However, this Wednesday the defense ministers of the United Kingdom, Ben Wallace, and Germany, Boris Pistorius, ruled out supplying F-16 fighters to Ukraine for the moment.
For his part, the Dutch Foreign Minister, Wopke Hoekstra, indicated that “there is still no decision” and that he would report when they are “ready to take this step.”
The Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, expressed his confidence that the matter will be resolved this year and qualified that while some countries will train Ukrainian pilots, others are willing to provide planes.
“Our priority is the F-16, but we are not ruling out other options. It’s like with tanks, ”he added.
Counter Russian bombing
This has become a major need for Ukraine since last March, when Russia began using guided glide bombs that hit Ukrainian targets far from the front.
Kiev currently “has nothing to stop” Russian planes carrying these types of projectiles, Yuriy Sak, adviser to the Ukrainian Defense Minister, said, noting that Western F-16s could be the solution.
“Ukraine needs between 40 and 50 F-16s in total, to form three or four squadrons to defend their skies from Russian bombing,” he asserted.
According to Sak, Ukraine’s allies understand that “the issue is ripe” and “no one has said that it is impossible.”
For this reason, he asserted, Ukraine will do everything possible to make this one of the priorities of the next G7 summit in Hiroshima that will begin this Friday and of the annual NATO summit in Lithuania next July.
Death Pulse in Bakhmut
Meanwhile, Bakhmut remains the epicenter of fighting in eastern Ukraine, where the Wagner Group of Russian mercenaries is attempting to seize the last western quarters of the city, while the Ukrainian advance on the Russian flanks continues.
The war report of the Russian Ministry of Defense asserted today that “as a result of offensive actions the units of the Airborne Forces occupied a more advantageous line of defense.”
A rhetorical turn unmasked by Wanger’s chief, Yevgueni Prigozin, who pointed out that “unfortunately, the territories that our group seized from the enemy for months (…) were lost today” by Russian regular units.
“That is ‘the most advantageous line of defense’: when you hand over to the enemy huge territories drenched in the blood of our comrades-in-arms. That is no longer called ‘going out shitting milk’ but ‘occupying more advantageous positions’”, he ironized.
Ukrainian advance on the Russian flanks
For his part, the spokesman for the Eastern Operational Command of the Ukrainian Army, Serhiy Cherevaty, stated that in the last 24 hours the Ukrainians advanced up to 500 meters in various directions on the outskirts of Bakhmut.
“The enemy tries to take the city at any cost. To do this, it literally wipes it off the face of the earth, so that the Defense Forces cannot use the buildings as fortifications, ”he said, sure that“ the initiative belongs more and more to the Ukrainians ”.
The Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Malyar, declared for her part that the Ukrainian troops have maintained the territories recovered in recent days, which she estimated at 20 square kilometers, and have made “advances in some areas.”
However, he acknowledged that “the enemy has made some progress” in the city, where “the fierce fighting continues”
According to a Ukrainian military officer, identified as Andrei, deputy commander of the Grom tactical unit, asserted on local television, the Russian occupiers offer firm resistance and send reinforcements with new units and “highly professional” fighters.
“The Russians have prepared many fortifications, they have a place to take shelter from our fire. On the outskirts of Bakhmut they hold up quite well, ”he admitted.