Ukrainian pilots say his country can beat Russia, but there must be more Western help

Washington — Two Ukrainian fighter pilots, Moonfish and Juice, who visited Washington DC with representatives last week, sent a brief message to the elected leaders, defense officials and journalists they met. I did. If Russia wins, it doesn’t know where to stop.

“If we don’t stop right now, the democratic world could be much worse here on earth here in Ukraine,” says Moonfish, whose real name isn’t used by Yahoo News. A mission in eastern Ukraine where Russia has been steadily profiting in recent weeks.

on sunday, Rocket hit KyivRemind us that the setbacks that Russia suffered in winter and early spring rarely persuaded the Kremlin to negotiate a compromise.

It is also unclear whether such a compromise would be plausible for Ukraine, which was first invaded by Russia in 2014 to regain its sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. When asked by Yahoo News what the victory would be, Juice said Ukraine had to return to the border established in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. His handler hastily pointed out that Kyiv’s official position is not so ambitious, but Juice is not interested in the finer details of diplomacy.

Ukrainian rescuer

Ukrainian rescue teams search for houses struck by Russian missiles in Kieu on Sunday. (Sergei Supinsky / AFP via Getty Images)

“So that’s the position of a politician,” he says persistently. “But the soldier’s position is the 1991 border.”

Ukrainians argue that Ukrainians decide when they are ready to negotiate, but Washington’s foreign policymakers are nervous about how long the US-European coalition will last. What you are doing is hardly a secret.

“It seems that NATO’s policy is to give them enough to fight, but not enough to win, to maintain the alliance,” said a former Pentagon senior policymaker. Official Mark Kimmitt told Yahoo News. “Such policies often lead to the lowest common denominator captured by more conservative alliance members.”

When the invasion first began, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his supreme general thought they might take Kyiv within three days. The ferocious Ukrainian defense repelled Russia’s attack and gave hope for victory by a much smaller country. But now, a few months later, the war entered a serious stage, with Russia occupying a small city like Severodonetsk, but consolidating interests in the Donbus region enough to allow Putin to claim victory. Was almost nonexistent.

“Russians are only searching for territory one inch at a time.” Pentagon officials told reporters on Friday..

Joe Biden

President Biden talks about the conflict in Ukraine during his visit to Troy, Alabama on May 3 (Nicholas Cam / AFP via Getty Images)

Last week in the US it was Send $ 450 Million Military Equipment — Including 4 advanced rocket systems — to Ukraine. But that may not be enough.

“Ukraine’s air defense capabilities were wiped out in the first few days of the February war,” defense-first military expert and combat veteran Daniel L. Davis told Yahoo News. “According to the latest reports, Russia can make 200 to 300 sorties a day. According to the most reliable assessment, Russia shot down about 30 fixed-wing aircraft during the war. Thousands of jets fly each month and only 6-7 are shot down each month. “

And until Ukraine is able to knock out Russia’s air defense system, Davis warns and sending western fighters and helicopters will not be very useful as they are simply shot from the air.

Ukrainians appreciate that they are not forgotten in the West. But the unpleasant reality is commanded by the Kremlin leaders, who are opposed to one of the world’s most powerful troops and are obsessed with proving their power to other parts of the world. about it. Therefore, gratitude is followed by the question of what will come next and when.

“We need all the help we can get,” says Julia Marshevska, who traveled to Washington with moonfish and juice to secure western aid in collaboration with the Ukrainian army.

Russian Sukhoi Su-34

A Russian aircraft shot down by Ukrainian troops crashed on April 22 in a residential area in Chernihiv. (NicolaMarfisi / AGF / Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The two pilots simply say they need more Western equipment. An air defense, more agile and advanced jet that can shoot down Russian missiles. Soviet-era MiG It has been supplied to Ukrainians so far.

“We need to do better. We need to save more lives,” says Juice. “We’re trying to do our best, but it’s an old piece of equipment.”

Both pilots say Russian rockets and missiles attacked civilian targets along with military targets. “They don’t care about hospitals and schools,” Juice says about Russia. “They are not real experts” according to Western standards of conduct.

“They don’t have enough technical training, enough shooting training,” says Juice, who was involved in Kieu’s first defense. “That’s why they suffered such a big loss.”

Moonfish were usually more subdued in the pair. “They are not comparable to us. They are not comparable to American pilots. I am 100% sure of that.” He said. Sukhoi Su-30Inadequate training blunts Russia’s advantages, and the command-and-control structure is at the same time chaotic and tyrannical.

“They are afraid to speak up,” says Moonfish, an assessment based on the cross-examination of captured Ukrainian pilots.

Russian police detain men during protest against Ukrainian invasion

Police officers have detained a man during a protest in Moscow against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (AFP via Getty Images)

The fear of speaking is peculiar to Putin’s 20-year-old Russian society. “Yes, that was a shame,” Moonfish talks about how quickly the protests in cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg ended and were replaced by the Kremlin’s acquiescence to propaganda. “I believed that something really happened, especially in the first month,” Putin’s grip on power seemed vulnerable over the years. But now the war is popular with ordinary Russians who have adapted to international sanctions and widespread criticism.

“Such a blow would never have happened in Ukraine,” says Moonfish.

Now he is preparing for a war that can last for years. Even if Putin is replaced, it could be done by Understudy, who aspires for a decisive military victory. That’s exactly what Putin enjoyed in Chechnya when he first came to power in 1999.

“We are all ready for a long-term conflict with Russia,” says Moonfish. “Therefore, we need more weapons to free the territory, at least to make them think twice before invading again.”