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Ukraine Wants To Park Some of Its F-16s in Neighboring Countries

The Kyiv regime is considering keeping some of the F-16s that NATO is giving it outside of the country. Serhii Holubtsov, head of aviation within Ukraine’s air force, said that “a certain number of aircraft will be stored at secure air bases outside of Ukraine so that they are not targeted here.” Holubtsov told the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that those F-16s could be used to replace damaged aircraft as they undergo repairs, and to train Ukrainian pilots abroad, reported AP.

Andrey Kartapolov, the chairman of the Russian State Duma Defense Committee, warned in response to Holubtsov’s statements that if any bases outside of Ukraine are used to launch combat missions, they will become targets, reported RT. In a statement to RIA Novosti published on June 10, Kartapolov clarified that if the F-16s “are not used for their intended purpose” or are simply held in storage at foreign air bases with the intent to transfer them to Ukraine, where they will be equipped, maintained, and flown from Ukrainian airfields, then Russia would have no claims against its “former partners” and would not target them.

However, if the jets take off from foreign bases and carry out sorties and strikes against Russian forces, both the fighter planes and the airfields where they are stationed will be “legitimate targets,” according to Kartapolov.