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Ukrainian Air Force likely to receive F-16s this winter, retired US Gen. Petraeus believes

Retired Gen. Petraeus discusses how Ukraine can defeat Russia through Western aid, national resolve, creativity, and innovation against less motivated Russian troops.
Retired US Army General David Petraeus speaks at the Churchill National Leadership Center in Washington, D.C. on 27 October 2023. Screenshot from a Voice of America video
Ukrainian Air Force likely to receive F-16s this winter, retired US Gen. Petraeus believes


Retired US General Petraeus advises Ukraine to persist with creativity and commitment to defeat Russia with NATO’s backing, capitalizing on sinking Russian troop morale and strain on Russia’s interior. He recommends sustained Western military aid and warns the West not to allow the conflict to expand elsewhere.

In an interview with VOA Ukrainian, retired US General David Petraeus discussed how Ukraine can defeat Russia in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war. Petraeus, a former CIA director, emphasized that Ukraine will need to continue demonstrating unwavering national commitment and creativity.

Petraeus advised Ukraine to persist with resolve and innovation in order to prevail over Russia’s military with backing from NATO countries. He said Ukraine is fighting with advanced but not cutting-edge Western weapons.

Asked what weapon could really turn the tide of the war, Petreaus said he believes it’s more likely a combination of several weapons systems. The US has already provided some of those, such as the ATACMS ballistic missiles with cluster warhead. But it will be very important to provide F-16 fighter jets, “which are likely to be delivered to the Ukrainian Air Force this winter. I believe that Ukrainian pilots are exceptional, and they will quickly switch from MiG and SU aircraft to F-16s,” Petraeus said, adding that Ukraine also needs more drones, air defense systems, and counter-battery systems.

This will help Ukraine capitalize on sinking Russian troop morale, according to Petraeus.

However, Petraeus cautioned that Russia should not be expected to escalate with direct attacks on NATO countries. While nuclear sabre-rattling will continue, Moscow likely wishes to avoid expanding its conflicts beyond Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukraine can erode Russian determination on the battlefield through Western support and national ingenuity.

“I think the last thing Russia needs is another front, another war. And I just think they are not capable of that, even if they want to again,”  Petraeus said.

According to Petraeus, maintaining high troop motivation is historically decisive in war. He asserts that creative Ukrainian pilots and manufacturers are already sustaining Western-supplied weapons, and their skills will strengthen Ukraine after the war. But for now, Petraeus urges Ukraine to boost its forces and continue outlasting Russia’s ill-prepared army.

Note: While the original interview was conducted in English, it was published in Ukrainian. The quotes have been translated back into English, which may introduce some errors or inconsistencies.

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