23/5/2023 – | Last update: 5/23/2023 07:20 PM (Mecca Time)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed today, Tuesday, the decision of several NATO countries to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s, noting that this decision does not make NATO a party to the conflict.
Stoltenberg said – in press statements – "Ukraine has the right to self-defense … and we help it to uphold this right. This decision does not make NATO and its allies a party to the conflict."
"I think it's a good idea and I welcome the decision of many NATO allies, including Germany, to start training pilots, because that gives us the opportunity to make decisions about delivery at a later time. I will let each ally announce exactly when the training will start," he added.
"The United States is the main provider of the F-16s and has also announced that it will begin training. This is an important step that will apparently enable us to deliver the fighter jets at some point, and also sends a very clear signal that we are here to stay for the long haul and that Russia cannot wait for us," he added. And end this war."
On the other hand, the European Union's Foreign and Defense Policy Commissioner Josep Borrell said that the Union has provided more than 10 billion euros in military support to Ukraine since the beginning of the war, and that training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s has begun.
He added, "I am glad that the training of pilots for the F-16 has finally begun, and it will take time in many countries of the Union, and it is better that this support, which the Ukrainians need to defend themselves, be accelerated."
The European official stressed that by the end of this year, the EU countries will have trained more than 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers, and that the focus in the next stage will be on providing military support to Kiev, which is a matter of unanimity from European countries.
Borrell indicated that this support will be provided by providing ammunition, weapons, training, advice and assistance, stressing that the coming weeks and months will be "important and decisive" for the war in Ukraine.
No military victory
On the other hand, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Ukraine cannot win militarily in the war with Russia, saying that Washington should intervene to put an end to the conflict.
Orban, the nationalist leader who disagrees with European Union member states over the war and refuses to provide military assistance to his neighbor Kiev – said – during the Qatar Economic Forum held in Doha – "It is clear that the military solution does not work," stressing that the Russian war on Ukraine was the result of "a failure Diplomacy".
He emphasized that "given the reality, the numbers, the context and the fact that NATO is not ready to send its forces, it is clear that there is no victory for the poor Ukrainians on the battlefield. This is my position."
"Our hearts are with the Ukrainians…we understand the extent of their suffering. The escalation must stop and we must push for peace and negotiations," he added.
Orban believed that a European security agreement should be negotiated with Moscow and said, "Ukraine, as a country, is of course very important, but in the longer term, and from a strategic point of view, Europe's future security is at stake."
He added, "It is clear that without the United States, there is no security architecture for Europe. It will not be possible to stop this war unless the Russians reach an agreement" with Washington.
On the ground, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced – during his visit to the Marine Corps sites in the eastern Donetsk province of the country – the formation of new brigades in the Marine Corps that rely on modern equipment and weapons.
Zelensky considered that since the beginning of the Russian war on his country, the military units and units of the Marine Corps had reliably taken over the defense in the most important sectors of the front, as he put it.
On the other hand, the Russian Defense Ministry said today, Tuesday, that it had removed the remaining attackers from the Russian border region of Belgorod with Ukraine, whom Moscow described as Ukrainian saboteurs.
The ministry stated that the remaining units accused by Moscow of launching an attack on Belgorod were forced to return to Ukrainian territory, while more than 70 of the attackers were killed.
The Russian Ministry of Defense had previously said that it was cooperating with law enforcement agencies to comb the Grayvoron area in Belgorod, after the infiltration of a sabotage Ukrainian group, as he described it.
On the other hand, Ukraine denied any connection with the attack on the Russian province, and Hana Malyar, the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense, said that the situation in Belgorod is a "Russian internal crisis," and added that the attackers are "Russian patriots, this is what we know."
Two groups of Russian fighters opposed to President Vladimir Putin, the "Russian Freedom Corps" and the "Russian Volunteer Corps", claimed responsibility for this attack on Belgorod, and these two groups had previously claimed armed incursions into Russia in the past months.
The White House has announced that it discourages any support for the attack on Russian soil and focuses on making sure that Ukraine can defend itself, indicating that it has no information about the Belgorod attack and that Russian groups sympathetic to the war in Ukraine appear to be behind it.
Regarding the situation in Bakhmut, the commander of the ground forces of the Ukrainian forces, Alexander Sersky, posted a video on his Telegram page showing what he said was a continuation of the battles on the Bakhmut front, and Sersky added that the Ukrainian forces were achieving success on the outskirts of the city.
Wagner's forces announced 3 days ago their full control of Bakhmut.
The Ukrainian General Staff said that the Russian forces resorted to carrying out air strikes on the outskirts of the city where the Ukrainian forces are located.
And she reminded the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense that her country's forces still control the aircraft area in Bakhmut, and added that Russian forces are searching the areas they seized in search of Ukrainian soldiers.