A Ukrainian official revealed a photo that he said is making Russian officials worried about the next developments on the battlefield.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yury Ihnat said Russian officials were “somewhat concerned” by the first published photo of an F-16 fighter jet painted with the Ukrainian insignia. Ukraine rises.
Ukraine is expected to receive dozens of US-made fighters shortly from Western allies, including the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, and Norway.
Training programs to help Ukrainian pilots operate modern aircraft have also been implemented in the UK, the US, Romania, and Denmark.
In an interview last week, a Ukrainian pilot nicknamed Phantom praised the F-16 while participating in a training course. This pilot said he was very impressed with the above fighter.
In addition, the article also shared a photo of the Phantom pilot standing in front of an F-16. A special feature is that this fighter has the insignia of Ukrainian forces on its body. The pilot’s face is covered.
“You have read the interview with our Phantom pilot and the interesting photo of him with a fighter with an image of the insignia on his body. Some people are skeptical whether the photo is real or not. Let’s see What Russia is saying and we know they are discussing it. Russia is a bit worried,” Mr. Ihnat said.
Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, also shared the above photo on social networking platform X.
Russian President Vladimir Putin once rejected the assertion that the F-16 would be able to turn the tide of the war in Ukraine, where Moscow has the upper hand because Kyiv has a serious shortage of ammunition.
However, Mr. Ihnat said Russia still sees the F-16 as an “attractive target,” adding that Kyiv’s military is doing “everything so that the infrastructure is being prepared and properly adjusted ( with F-16)”.
Meanwhile, the Phantom pilot revealed that preparing the F-16s for combat is going “completely according to plan”, adding that “not only are the pilots being trained, but like you I know, so do our ground staff and aircraft maintenance mechanics.”
“The Ukrainian pilots were very impressed. This aircraft simply exceeded their expectations. Even with the amount of information they received during training, they saw great promise and potential about how this aircraft will help our Air Force enhance its air combat capabilities,” Phantom commented.
Ukraine has long called on the West to provide aid to US-made F-16 fighters. The US has given the green light to its allies to provide this type of aircraft to Ukraine and form an alliance to support operational training for Ukrainian pilots.
The F-16, if equipped with air-to-air weapons, could bring air superiority to the Ukrainian air force and create a threat to the Russian air force, thereby turning the tide of the battlefield.
Last November, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned: “If our air defense forces continue to operate so effectively, the entire F-16 squadron will be shot down in about 20 days.”