Nations that support Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion, which began almost two months ago, have succeeded in sending replacement aircraft parts to the country.
Without mentioning amounts or types, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby confirmed Tuesday that the Ukrainians “right now have available to them more fixed-wing fighter aircraft than they did two weeks ago.”
The statement gave scope for some outlets to understand that Ukraine did indeed receive more fighter jets, but the country’s Air Force guaranteed that “did not receive new aircraft from partners”, in a post on Twitter on Wednesday.
“With the assistance of the US Government, the Ukrainian Air Force received spare parts and components for the restoration and repair of the fleet of aircraft in the Armed Forces, which will allow to put into service more equipment,” the force said.
Ukraine did not receive new aircraft from partners!
With the assistance of the US Government, @KpsZSU received spare parts and components for the restoration and repair of the fleet of aircraft in the Armed Forces, which will allow to put into service more equipment.
— Ukrainian Air Force (@KpsZSU) April 20, 2022
According to a US defense official, the deployment made it possible for Ukraine to reactivate around 20 fighter jets. The most likely aircraft is the MiG-29, the Air Force’s main fighter.
The announcement comes weeks after attempts to send used fighter jets from countries including Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia failed for fear of Russian retaliation against those countries.
The same nations are believed to have been responsible for handing over some of their parts inventories to help Ukraine recover damaged or out-of-service aircraft.
At least 15 Ukrainian aircraft have been shot down by Russia since the start of the conflict, including four MiG-29s. Ukraine had about 70 aircraft of the type, in addition to 32 Su-27s, 17 Su-25s and 12 Su-24s, before the Russian invasion.