Situation report day 453
May 22, 2023 - President Zelensky has assured U.S. President Biden at the G7 summit in Hiroshima that F-16 fighter jets donated by allies to Kyiv would not be used to attack Russian territory.
Washington has endorsed the idea of joint allied training programmes for Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets although it has yet to commit to allowing the transfer of the planes to Kyiv.
The Kremlin has warned that an attack on Crimea would be seen as an attack on Russia, and would raise the question of NATO involvement, threatening to escalate the situation. According to the Russian ambassador to the U.S., “There is no infrastructure for the operation of the F-16 in Ukraine and the needed number of pilots and maintenance personnel is not there either. What will happen if the American fighters take off from NATO airfields, controlled by foreign ‘volunteers’?”
- Institute for the Study of War
- Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant switched to standby - Russia-installed official (Reuters)
- Ukraine aims to encircle Bakhmut as Russia says it captures city (Reuters)
- Moscow to hold Russia-China security talks on Monday, RIA reports (Reuters)
- Russia says F-16s to Ukraine would raise question of NATO involvement (Reuters)