Poland has expressed their intention to transfer 28 MiG-29 fighter planes initially to the United States, with the intention that the US would then pass them on to the Ukrainian Air Force. Despite this request, the US, through Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby has expressed reticence at the difficulty of passing them to Ukraine.
He went on to say, “we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one… [it’s] simply not clear to us that there is a substantive rationale for it… The prospect of fighter jets … departing from a U.S./NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance.
Ukrainian pilots could simply be brought from Ukraine to the bases where they are hosted in Poland and directly fly them across the border, removing the necessity for NATO troops to enter Ukrainian airspace, despite the fact that the territory is still recognized exclusively as sovereign to Ukraine.
American forces, since the beginning of the conflict, have allowed their fatalism to nearly derail the defense of Ukraine. They have repeatedly requested that Zelenskyy abandon Kyiv and his country and form a government in exile, a move that almost certainly would have led to the collapse of the arms in early days and doomed the future of Ukraine.
He defied American requests, and reports now suggest that they are making plans for a government-in-exile in Lviv without consulting with him, going to the point of asking members of his administration to flee their posts so as to preemptively form a backup administration abroad.
While sanctions against Putin’s inner core and the Russian state have accelerated in recent days, short an embargo on Russian oil that starved the state of the revenue that it needs to continue to fund its invasion, most analysts still admit that the existing measures fall short of sufficient to stop the momentum.
Further, Western media has recently become fetishizing outrage over the “imminent collapse,” of Kyiv, counting the days left that they estimate it can resist the Russian onslaught while offering little in the way of concrete solutions. Those estimations, like those made before the invasion began, have been consistently wrong and underestimated both the tenacity of Ukrainians to defend their democracy and sovereignty in the face of the essential annihilation of their country, and Russian lack of morale and incompetence.
Reports abound of Russian battalions being told they were on exercise, before being asked to shell bridges with civilians fleeing across them, of broken supply lines with vehicles short of oil, and soldiers short on rations. Their patience is being continuously tested as Ukrainian civilians protest their presence and fling insults and profanities at them, while daring them to respond while being recorded on ubiquitous cell phone cameras.
Ukrainian soldiers and paramilitaries, to the contrary, are fighting an existential war against an invading army and have every ounce of motivation and resources plugged in to destroying the Russian forces. Their forces are continuously replenished by reservists, but also by foreign fighters, swelling their ranks to parity with the Russians send to the conflict.
If Putin is prepared to send, and possibly lose, his entire army, abandon Russian claims in the Kurile Islands, and Georgia, and pull security guarantees from its central Asian allies, then it is conceivable they could attempt to overpower Ukraine. Even with these forces, a long-term Ukrainian insurgency with its 40M population, could potentially cause the collapse of the Russian armed forces, and the end of the Russian Federation as it now stands, a cost Putin would seem unwilling to bear. Therefore, it seems more likely he will push harder until the pressure from within his own ranks force him to end the war for some concessions, if Ukraine is willing to grant any.