The Armed Forces of Ukraine received about 60 Leopard tanks, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said. According to him, the army needs about 120 Western fighters. The minister promised not to strike at Russia.
The head of the defense department, in an interview with the Funke media group, recalled that the coalition for the supply of German-made Leopards includes Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Spain and Canada. Ukraine has about two battalions of 30 tanks. Mr. Reznikov noted that Kyiv also received AMX-10RC wheeled tanks from France, British-made Challenger tanks and American Abrams. He did not give their number.
Kyiv wants to have at its disposal about 120 fighters. “The majority should be F-16s, of which there are over 5,000 vehicles in the world,” Mr. Reznikov said. TASS). He wants the first F-16 fighters to arrive in Ukraine by the end of the year. Pilot training takes four to six months, he said. Training is required for engineers, technicians and mechanics, which can take up to six months.
At the same time, the minister believes that the German Eurofighter and the Swedish Gripen would be an important help. Ukraine hopes to be able to get the German Eurofighter and Tornado. “If the UK and Germany were to pool their power on the Eurofighter it would be an important step. <...> We could form a fighter coalition with the base models of the F-16, Eurofighters and Gripen,” the minister added.
Mr. Reznikov recalled that Denmark and the Netherlands should soon begin training Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16. According to him, negotiations are underway to join the process of Poland and Belgium. The UK is “ready to offer Ukrainians training courses on Eurofighter aircraft.”
The Minister of Defense of Ukraine said that Kyiv is striving for “normal relations” with Russia, as with Poland, Slovakia or Romania. “We don’t need Russian land,” he assured. According to TASS, Alexei Reznikov also denied the participation of the Ukrainian side in the shelling of the Belgorod region, but the quote is not given.
Ukraine, according to the minister, is preparing for offensive operations “in two or three places on the battlefield, both in the south and in the east.”
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