Zelenskyy told Biden F-16s wont be used to attack Russia

May 22, 2023
Robert Ayers

According to President Joe Biden, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has assured him that Ukraine would not use the F-16 fighter jets that it is likely to receive from the West to attack Russia in Russian territory. 

Biden, Reuters reports, disclosed this assurance that he received from Zelenskyy to reporters at the conclusion of the recently held G-7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

There, Biden said that he received a "flat assurance" from Zelenskyy that the planes will not be used to attack Russia itself. Rather, he said that they will be used "wherever Russian troops are within Ukraine and the area."

Biden, according to Reuters, also said that it is "highly unlikely" that the F-16s will be used in a Ukrainian offensive in the coming weeks. But, Biden did say that Ukrainian troops may need the fighter jets to defend themselves against Russian forces who are beyond Ukraine's current reach.


At the G7 summit, Zelenskyy, once again, lobbied Western allies for more assistance. And, he, at the very least, won Biden over as Biden, at the summit, announced another $375 million in military aid to Ukraine to assist the country in its ongoing war with Russia.

But, there's more. For some time now, Zelenskyy has been pleading with the West to provide American-made F-16 fighter jets. The West has mostly refused, although Poland and Slovakia have given Ukraine Soviet-era MiG-29s.

Apparently, the MiG-29s, however, are a bit outdated. Accordingly, Zelenskyy has continued to lobby the West for the F-16s. And, it now appears that he may have finally been successful.

During the G7 summit, Biden said that Washington supports a program to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s fighter jets. Zelenskyy, additionally, told reporters that he is confident that Ukraine will receive F-16s from the West.

We'll see if this turns out to be true.

The latest in the Russia-Ukraine war

It appears that, over the weekend, Russia may have captured the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. There, have been some conflicting reports on the subject. Fighting may still be ongoing.

But, Zelenskyy, at the G7 summit, certainly acted as though Bakhmut was lost.

He told reporters:

They destroyed everything. There are no buildings. It’s a pity. It’s tragedy but today Bakhmut is only in our hearts. There is nothing in this place. Just drones and a lot of dead Russians. But they came to us. So our defenders in Bakhmut, they did strong work. And of course, we appreciate them for their great job.

Bakhmut has been one of the most heavily contested cities in the Russia-Ukraine war. Fighting, there, has been ongoing for eight months.

Even if it is true that Russia has captured Bakhmut, experts do not believe that this will significantly change the overall direction of the Russia-Ukraine war.

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