Putin To U.S.: Russia Will DESTROY F-16s Used By Ukraine

by Tommy Grant

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president has a stark warning for Ukraine’s war sponsors: Moscow will destroy any F-16 jets used by the regime and sent over from the Western backers. If Ukrainian-operated jets fly sorties from third countries, they will be legitimate targets for Russia, Putin said.

The comments came during Putin’s visit to Torzhok air base in Tver Region, home of the 344th Training Center for Russian combat pilots, including personnel being trained to take part in the Ukraine conflict.

This is not the first and likely will not be the last threat Putin has slung toward the United States and other NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries that still insist on backing Ukraine. Russia has also already destroyed much of the military equipment sent to Ukraine for use against them.

Putin: Russia Has Destroyed 30% Of Heavy Equipment Sent To Ukraine

Russia will destroy US-made F-16 fighter jets that eventually make it to Ukraine, just as it has other Western equipment, Putin said on Wednesday. “If they deliver the F-16s, I think you know better than others that this will not change the situation on the battlefield,” the president said. “And we will destroy these planes just as we have destroyed tanks, armored vehicles, and other equipment, including multiple launch rocket systems.”

A U.S.-Supplied HIMARS System Destroyed By Russia In Donbass

“Of course, if they are used from airfields of third countries, they become a legitimate target for us, wherever they are located,” Putin said.

Russia is well aware that the 1970s jet can potentially carry nuclear weapons, and this will be taken into account in combat operations, Putin noted.

Kiev has lost much of its air force over the past two years, including Soviet-era jets donated by several NATO members as replacements. The Ukrainian government eventually asked the US-led bloc for F-16s. –RT

The single-engine fighter is a late 1970s design, originally manufactured by General Dynamics before it was acquired by Lockheed Martin. It requires pristine runways, which are in short supply in Ukraine, prompting speculation that Ukrainian-operated jets might be stationed in nearby NATO countries instead, which would still further inflame already hot tensions between Russia and the West.

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