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During a July 2 press briefing, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder announced that the long-awaited F-16 fighter jets were scheduled for delivery to Ukraine sometime this summer. This event in and of itself is a potential trigger for world war. Russian authorities, including President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov, have repeatedly stated that the F-16s are nuclear capable, and that Russia will be left with no choice but to shoot them down from the sky if they are used in the Ukrainian theater.

Ukrainian authorities, however, are concerned that the F-16s could be destroyed on the ground, even before they take off. An article in Eurasian Times headlined “F-16s May Suffer Same Fate as Su-27s; Ukraine Fears `Falcons Could Become Sitting Ducks’ for Russia” reports that “a Ukrainian lawmaker has voiced serious concerns about the future of the planned transfer of F-16 fighter jets from Western countries to Ukraine, fearing they could meet the same fate as the Su-27 jets destroyed on the Mirgorod airfield.” The reference is to the recent destruction by a Russian Iskander ballistic missile of two supersonic Su-27 fighters and damaging another four as they sat defenseless on the tarmac.

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