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Putin Should Be Worried: Could Ukraine Still Get Poland’s MiG-29 Fighters?

MiG-29
MiG-29. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Legislators Want Biden to Provide MiG-29s to Ukraine – After the Pentagon rejected a proposal from Poland last week to deliver MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling on President Joe Biden to reverse course and assist Poland in delivering the planes to Ukraine.

On Monday, 58 House legislators from both parties signed a letter to the president urging him to provide additional military equipment, vehicles, and planes to Ukraine and to continue ramping up the economic sanctions directed at Russia.

“Despite heroic and skillful resistance by Ukrainian forces, Russia currently retains air superiority over Ukraine,” the letter reads. “Russia’s advantage in this domain could soon develop into air dominance if the Ukrainians do not receive necessary military aid.

The legislators, representing the House Problem Solvers Caucus, also called on the president to supply more air defense systems to Ukraine, arguing that the United States should work with NATO members that own S-300 surface-to-air missile systems and that they should be transferred to Ukraine to assist their efforts against Russia.

The group is led by Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey.

Putin’s Escalation Ladder – What Constitutes An Act Of War?

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Polish Defense Minister on Wednesday that the United States would not participate in their proposed plan to send Soviet-built fighter jets to Ukraine. The initial plan was to transfer its fleet of MiG-29s to the German Ramstein Air Base, expecting them to be transferred from the base to Ukraine.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that the decision not to participate was influenced by the opinion of the U.S. intelligence community, citing concerns that providing fighter jets to Ukraine may be considerably more provocative than supplying regular munitions.

Kirby said that supplying the jets could be seen as “escalatory” and that it would “result in significant Russian reaction that might increase the prospects of a military escalation with NATO.”

On Thursday, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Scott Berrier told legislators that there was a real concern that assisting Poland may be considered an “escalation” – potentially making NATO countries a target for the Russian military.

MiG-29

Image: Creative Commons.

MiG-29

Image: Creative Commons.

MiG-29

Image: Creative Commons.

“It’s whether or not they perceive us as being in conflict with them,” Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“We’re in a very challenging position right now where we are obviously providing enormous amounts of support to Ukraine…but at the same time, trying not to escalate the conflict into a full-on NATO or U.S. war with Russia.”

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and report on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Anthony Ciliberti

    March 15, 2022 at 9:48 am

    Turkey is selling Ukraine drones, so sell 70 MiG’s for $1. I’ll even pay the dollar and say it was a gift from me. I’m not afraid of Putin!!!

  2. Anthony Ciliberti

    March 15, 2022 at 9:50 am

    If not me, then Elon Musk as he wants to fight Putti hand-to-hand anyway…

  3. Alex

    March 15, 2022 at 1:38 pm

    Worry Putin or Russia? And for you, too, as I see it, Putin is God. Russia should not be worried, if only because 90% of airfields in Ukraine have been destroyed by Russian missiles. And most importantly – how is the old Soviet trash going to fight against the new Russian aircraft? But why think, the main thing is to write an article.

  4. Ben d'Mydogtags

    March 16, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    Poland’s MiG29s are heavily upgraded with US engines and avionics. They are not the same platform as Ukraine is familiar with. Other regional countries like Romania, Bulgaria, Slovokia do have stock MiG29, SU25, MiG21R and other airframes Ukraine could use. But those smaller countries have small fleets and cannot donate without leaving themselves vulnerable… UNLESS. Get the small countries to donate their aircraft to Ukraine. Ukraine is now reinforced and with aircraft the Russians will be less able to differentiate from Ukraine’s own. Give the upgraded Polish MiG29s to Bulgaria, Slovokia and Romania as backfill, and train their pilots and maintainers at Ramstein. Backfill Poland with F16s. Everybody is now reinforced and upgraded and in a way that Russia will be less able to claim is a direct US intervention. Stronger NATO. Stronger Ukraine. Win-win-win.

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