Ukraine has received fighter jets and spare parts to bolster its air force, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday, declining to specify their number or the countries that provided the aircraft. Today they have more fighter aircraft at their disposal than they did two weeks ago, the spokesman said during a press briefing. Without going into detail about what other countries are providing, I would say they have received additional aircraft and spare parts to increase their fleet, he added. He did not specify the type of aircraft provided to the Ukrainian military, which had been demanding warplanes for weeks, but suggested that they were Russian-made aircraft.
Other nations that have experience with this kind of aircraft were able to help them get more aircraft into service, he said. He said that the United States, which does not want to appear as a belligerent country in this conflict, had facilitated the sending of spare parts to Ukrainian territory but had not sent any aircraft. Kiev demanded from its Western partners Mig-29s that its military already knows how to fly, and which are available in a handful of Eastern European countries.
A possible transfer of such Russian planes from Poland was discussed in early March, before the United States opposed it, fearing that Russia might see it as too much of a direct involvement of NATO in the conflict.