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Russia reinforcing Western borders in preparation for Ukrainian F-16s: Shoigu

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Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday Moscow was reinforcing its western borders in preparation for US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets being supplied to Ukraine next year.

“The US and its allies are transferring armored vehicles, air defense systems, and high-precision missiles to Ukraine. In violation of international conventions, Washington included cluster munitions in military assistance packages,” Shoigu said as cited by state news agency TASS.

He added: “The issue of transferring F-16 tactical fighters to Kyiv has moved into practical terms. Their arrival is expected in the future. In response to these threats, we are taking appropriate measures and strengthening our western borders.”

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This contradicts what President Vladmir Putin said in September when he stated that Kyiv’s allies supplying the Ukrainian army with F-16 fighter jets will not have a significant impact on the war and would only draw out the conflict.

Putin stressed that supplying Ukraine with new weapons, including cluster munitions, depleted uranium ammunition and F-16 fighters, will not change the situation at the battlefront, state news agency TASS reported.

“Will this change anything? I think not. I’m sure it won’t. Will it drag on? Yes, it will. The other thing that worries me is that there are no restrictions,” Putin said.

The US, Denmark and the Netherlands will spearhead a coalition to support Ukraine in creating a complete F-16 fighter aircraft capacity, the Danish ministry of defense announced last week.

Denmark and the Netherlands were the first two nations to announce in August donating F-16 jets to Ukraine.

Read more:

Ukraine needs 130 fighter jets to achieve air supremacy over Russia: Air Force

Putin says Ukraine obtaining F-16 jets will not change anything but prolong war

Ex-Russian Colonel: Any Ukrainian F-16 airfield will be wiped out during construction

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