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Forming Air Coalition for Ukraine Should be Priority


Russia has sharply increased shelling of Ukraine's frontline and border areas, in parallel with massive cruise and ballistic missile strikes against Ukrainian cities. The frequency of such attacks increased dramatically in May - Russia carried out nine rocket attacks during that month, while the number of attacks using artillery, mortars, and surface-to-air missiles is hard to count - 162 such attacks were recorded between 08 and 16 May alone. Russian attacks cause civilian casualties and mass destruction - another manifestation of the genocide that will affect Europe if Russia is not stopped in Ukraine.

EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell has proposed that the European Union increase the EU fund used to finance military assistance to Ukraine by 3.5bn euros. Such a decision was prompted by the growing Russian threat not only to Ukraine but also to Europe. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have been holding back the onslaught of Russian troops for more than a year now and have liberated part of Ukraine's occupied territories after the invasion last February. But Putin is not going to retreat, the processes taking place in Russia show that the Kremlin dictator is going to wage a protracted war, which in the longer term could well extend beyond the borders of Ukraine. Under such conditions, it is no longer possible to create a reliable barrier for Europe from Russia with anti-tank guns and drones.

Russia is dramatically increasing the stakes, hence the military costs. Russian tactics have also undergone a significant change: their aim is now to kill as many peaceful Ukrainians as possible in order to turn Ukraine into a desolate, ruined country. In Putin's perception, the "Bakhmut scenario" must happen in every Ukrainian, and subsequently, European, city where the Russians will encounter resistance. This is a classic Soviet military tactic, and it is genocidal against the civilian population of the country Russian troops are invading.

Russia is committing terrible crimes against Ukrainian civilians: in addition to the relentless rocket attacks, the Russians are bombing with super-powerful but very inaccurate FAB-500 bombs. Their use within populated areas is a war crime. Consequently, Ukraine needs not only air defence but also modern fighters - forming an aviation coalition for Ukraine for the sake of providing F-16 fighters for the Ukrainian Armed Forces should be a priority for Europe.

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