Sunday, December 17, 2023

How F-16 Fighter Jets Could Reshape UKRaine's Aerial Battlefield: The Air War Over Ukraine; Zelenskiy Hails 'victory' After EU Decision to Open Accession Talks; 74% of UKRs Against Territorial Concessions; RU Paratroopers Suffer Heavy Losses in Kherson Oblast

How F-16 Fighter Jets Could Reshape UKRaine's Aerial Battlefield: The Air War Over Ukraine:
Outnumbered and outgunned in the skies, Ukraine has used surface-to-air missiles to keep Russian aircraft at arm’s length. The country’s military hopes bringing F-16s to the fight will push them back farther - and keep Ukraine’s air force flying for the long term.
U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine have begun arriving at training centers in the United States, Denmark and Romania. Kyiv’s allies hope the modern aircraft can push Russian aircraft farther from the frontlines, target radar transmitters more effectively and hunt down more cruise missiles.
Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhnyi said in November that F-16s will be "less helpful" now than they would have been a year ago because Russia has had time to improve its air defences.
But they will help address a problem that has persisted from the start of the invasion in February 2022: Russia’s more modern combat aircraft have been difficult for Ukraine’s military to counter with its own aging fighters.
Reuters examined technical documents and spoke to eight military experts, including former F-16 trainers and pilots, about the jets’ capabilities, limitations and the impact they could have on the war in Ukraine. --->LOTS MORE INTERACTIVE CONTENT HERE
REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo
Ukraine's Zelenskiy hails 'victory' after EU decision to open accession talks:
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed a "victory" for Ukraine and the European continent on Thursday after European Union leaders agreed to open membership talks for Ukraine and Moldova despite months of opposition from Hungary about Kyiv joining.
The decision announced by European Council President Charles Michel on the first day of a summit in Brussels is a much-needed morale boost for Kyiv, which fears vital Western support has been waning as its war with Russia rages on with no end in sight.
"I thank everyone who worked for this to happen and everyone who helped. I congratulate every Ukrainian on this day... History is made by those who don't get tired of fighting for freedom," Zelenskiy wrote in a post on social media platform X.
In a separate post on X, the president added: "This is a victory for Ukraine. A victory for all of Europe. A victory that motivates, inspires, and strengthens."
Zelenskiy later issued a series of messages on Telegram, thanking Council President Michel for communicating the result personally and expressing gratitude to European leaders.
These included French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who met Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban before the result was announced.
He congratulated Moldovan President Maia Sandu on her country winning the right to launch talks and President Salome Zourabichvili on Georgia becoming a candidate for EU membership.
Kyiv residents were delighted at the EU summit outcome.
"Ukraine showed that it has qualities that make it different from our enemy," said Volodymyr, 63.
"When people don't like something, they express their will and change presidents. This movement is ceaseless since 2004, Ukraine was and is heading towards Europe." --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

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