Putin promises to DESTROY all those U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets piloted by Ukrainian soldiers
03/29/2024 // Ethan Huff // Views

Any United States-made F-16 fighter jets that are spotted making their way into Ukraine in the coming days, or that are being piloted by Ukrainian soldiers anywhere in the world, are open game for Russia to destroy them, warned Russian President Vladimir Putin this week.

After several NATO member states announced that they would be donating F-16s to Kyiv in order to get Ukrainian pilots trained to fly them, Putin put the world on notice that he would not allow this to happen under his watch.

So far, no F-16s have arrived in Kyiv, but it is expected that some soon will. Because the aircraft can be equipped with nuclear weapons, something the West has already warned they would be, Putin is getting ahead of their delivery with a serious warning about the escalation that will ensure once they arrive.

"If they deliver the F-16s, I think you know better than others that this will not change the situation on the battlefield," Putin said. "And we will destroy these planes just as we have destroyed tanks, armored vehicles, and other equipment, including multiple launch rocket systems."

Even U.S.-made F-16s that are piloted by Ukrainian soldiers in countries outside of Ukraine are legitimate targets, Putin further emphasized.

"Of course, if they are used from airfields of third countries, they become a legitimate target for us, wherever they are located."

Putin delivered these ominous words during a visit to Torzhok air base in Russia's Tver Region, which is home to the 344th Training Center for Russian combat pilots. Personnel at Torzhok are being trained to participate in the Ukraine conflict.

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F-16s a no-go for Putin

Russia knows full well that the F-16, designed in the 1970s, is fully equipped to carry nuclear weapons, hence why Putin delivered the warning. It is also known by Russia that Kyiv has all but depleted its entire air force over the past two years, including several Soviet-era jets that were donated by NATO members as replacements for other lost equipment.

Ukraine's loss of its air force prompted the Zelensky regime to beg the U.S.-led bloc for a fleet of F-16s, which are single-engine fighter jets originally manufactured by General Dynamics before that company was acquired by Lockheed Martin.

To safely take off and land, the F-16 requires pristine runways, which are in very short supply in Ukraine. Because of this, some, including Putin, speculate that the jets will be operated by Ukrainian soldiers in nearby NATO countries instead of in Ukraine.

"Hitting these aircraft on foreign territories will trigger Article 5," one commenter warned about Putin's statements. "Hitting the aircraft over Ukrainian airspace will not."

"That is true! Which is why the founders of NATO need to be very cautious in how far they provoke Russia," responded another. "Russia, like any nation, has a right to defend itself. If that invokes Article 5, then we are all soon to be piles of radioactive ash."

Another wrote that he had sent a letter to his senators and representatives urging them to stop these reckless provocations now as they would only lead to World War III.

"There is only one way to stop it, and that is to stop these reckless provocations now," the commenter's letter reads in part.

"Does the senator support an end to this war on Russia? Or, does he support expanding it into WWIII? If he supports WWIII, I think he owes his constituents an explanation beyond the typical 'Good Guy fighting Bad Guy' nonsense."

As things continue to heat up on the world stage, we will keep you informed about the latest at WWIII.news.

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