Photo Credit: US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordan Castelan
An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon refuels during operations in support of US-led coalition forces in Syria.

In a new escalation, Russia is warning that countries offering airport facilities to Ukraine’s military could end up being involved in the conflict.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said Sunday in a video briefing quoted by the UK’s Daily Mail that if Russian forces are attacked by Ukrainian military aircraft from the territory of other nations, it “could be considered as those countries’ engagement in the military conflict.


“We know for sure that Ukrainian combat aircraft have flown to Romania and other neighboring countries.

“The use of the airfield network of these countries for basing Ukrainian military aviation with the subsequent use of force against Russia’s army can be regarded as the involvement of these states in an armed conflict,” Konashenkov said.

NATO ‘Green Lights’ Warplanes for Ukraine
The threat comes on the same day that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS ‘Face the Nation’ host Margaret Brennan in an interview, that plans for Poland to send fighter jets to Ukraine have been approved by the US and NATO.

‘That gets the green light,” Blinken said. “In fact, we’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to backfill their needs if in fact they choose to provide these fighter jets to the Ukrainians. What can we do? How can we help to make sure that they get something to backfill the planes that they’re handing over to the Ukrainians? We’re in very active discussions with them about that.”

Poland has 28 Russian-made MiG-29 combat planes, which may be given to Ukraine. The US would then replace those with a new batch of F-16 fighter jets. The Polish Air Force uses both in its combat operations.

‘Ukraine Will Prevail’
“I’m afraid this could go on for some time,” he told Brennan. “But it’s going to end, and it’s going to end with Ukraine prevailing, because even as Putin has the capacity because he can – the manpower, the equipment that he has that he can bring to bear, can continue to grind down these incredibly brave and resilient Ukrainians, winning a battle is not the same thing as winning a war. Taking the city is not the same thing as capturing the hearts and minds of Ukrainians.

“What they’ve demonstrated with extraordinary courage is that they will not be subjugated to Vladimir Putin’s will to – and be under Russia’s thumb. So, whether that takes another week, another month, another year to play out, it will. And I know how this is going to end. But the question is: Can we end it sooner rather than later with less suffering than to – going forward?”

Blinken had a busy day, speaking with multiple news outlets and then with reporters following a meeting on the Ukraine-Poland border with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dymytro Kuleba.

Speaking to reporters from a spot a few feet inside Ukrainian territory at the border crossing with Poland, following his meeting Kuleba, Blinken said the “entire world” stand with Ukraine, citing “an extraordinary surge of support” for the country “against Russia’s aggression. . .Russia’s war of choice.”

Kuleba concurred, adding that he and Blinken had “meaningful discussions about weapons, about sanctions, about isolation of Russia in the international arena. . .The message that I have to convey is very simple: Ukraine will win this war anyway, because this is the people’s war for their land.”

At least one and a half million refugees have fled Ukraine into neighboring countries to the West, including almost half a million who crossed the border into Poland, and an estimated 240,000 more who have made it to Moldova.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.