How many jets does Ukraine have? Poland pledges to send planes ‘in coming days’
After months of campaigning, Ukraine has managed to convince one of its allies to provide fighter jets.
In providing Kyiv with heavy weaponry, Warsaw has taken a leading position among Nato partners. A step beyond the rest of the alliance's promises, Poland's statement that it will send the Soviet-designed aircraft may put pressure on other members to follow suit.
The US said that Poland’s move would not require Washington to act, given that other Nato countries have been unwilling to go much beyond their earlier decision to send tanks to Kyiv.
How many jets does Ukraine have?
According to Forbes, Ukrainians had around 105 MiG-29s, Su-24s and Su-25s before the Russians attacked — and, a year later, still have around 105 of these types.
It is estimated Ukraine still has up to 50 Su-27s. Forbes claims these might be Ukraine’s most useful jets as they are fast, maneuverable, and flexible.
How many jets is Poland sending?
Poland is sending four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.
The planes, inherited from the former German Democratic Republic, would be handed over in the upcoming days after being serviced, according to President Andrzej Duda.
Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, Poland was one of the loudest opponents of Russia in Europe. Many people in Poland's political and diplomatic circles still view Russia from the perspective of the Cold War. Warsaw has always held the opinion that Putin is an unreliable leader and that any Russian expansion should be resisted at all costs.
It is one of the few Nato countries that by law is required to meet its two per cent of GDP defense spending commitment and is an active member of the European defense community.
Deploying MiGs is not out of the ordinary for Poland, and it fully complies with its Nato membership. That might alter the dynamic inside the alliance, serving as a stimulus for more nations to do so, or it might enrage nations like Hungary, who are against Nato getting more involved in the fight.
According to the White House, President Joe Biden won't send F-16 planes since Poland's decision to send the fighter jets is a “sovereign choice”.
Who else is arming Ukraine?
By a wide margin, the US provides the most military aid, followed by the UK and the EU.
The US, the UK, and Germany are sending tanks, and Germany is allowing other Western countries to send German-made tanks from their fleets.
However, no Nato country has yet agreed to requests from Ukraine to send fighter jets, except for Poland.
Recently, Volodomyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, has declared that his country's forces urgently require Western battle tanks to protect its borders and drive Russian troops out of occupied territory.
The US is sending 31 Abrams tanks, the UK is sending 14, Germany is sending 14, and the US is sending 14 Challenger 2 tanks.
Many European nations employ the Leopard 2, which is said to be more fuel-efficient and easier to maintain than the majority of Western tanks.
Six Leopard 2 tanks are reportedly being sent to Ukraine by Spain.