Four jets alone are unlikely to make much of a difference, but by breaking the ‘jet taboo,’ Poland could be opening the door to more jets being sent to support Ukraine’s resistance to Putin’s invasion.
Poland has announced they will give four MiG fighter jets to Ukraine. The Soviet-era jets will be well-known to Ukraine’s air force, as the country already operates dozens of them. This will alleviate concerns surrounding the longer training times that would be necessary if Western-made jets were provided. While the move will have a negligible impact on the overall war, a NATO country sending jets to Ukraine helps to weaken the ‘jet taboo.’
Similar to how the ‘tank taboo’ took time to dissolve, the ‘jet taboo’ will now start to erode as other NATO countries seek to help bolster Ukraine’s air force. Speaking to the BBC, Ukrainian MP Kira Rudik discussed the impact of Poland’s decision to send jets:
“We need them to strengthen our air defence systems and to help our army in the spring counter-offensive. It’s also a good sign to everybody that getting fighter jets to Ukraine is not something unspeakable or surreal – that this is something that can happen; that the only thing that is needed to make it happen is political will.”
In addition to the current transfer of four jets, Poland has also said they will send more modern jets if other countries do so:
Poland is purchasing significant quantities of military equipment, in what is the largest military buildup by a European country in many decades. With new F-35s on the way, Poland is easily able to part with their less advanced fighters.
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