US President Joe Biden said that his country will not provide Ukraine with F-16 warplanes, while his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron stated that providing Kyiv with fighters is not excluded, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia has begun its "retaliation". Great".

In response to a question by reporters at the White House yesterday, Monday, whether he supports sending these fighters to Kyiv, as asked by a number of Ukrainian leaders, Biden answered, "No."

"I will go to Poland. But I don't know when," Biden told reporters when asked about his upcoming visit to Poland.

With the approaching first anniversary of the start of the Russian war on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, news emerged of an expected visit by Biden to Poland and other European countries to show support for the pro-Ukraine coalition.

Western countries finally agreed this month to provide Ukraine with advanced tanks, which are the most powerful in the armies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

This support gave Kiev hope that it would soon obtain F-16 fighter jets to strengthen its air force, but the issue is still being discussed in the West.

Also yesterday, Monday, French President Macron said, after talks he held in the Dutch city of The Hague with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, that providing Ukraine with combat aircraft to enhance its ability to confront Russia is "a matter that is not excluded in principle," warning at the same time of the risk of escalation. dispute.

Macron standards

However, Macron stressed that there are "criteria" for making any decision in this regard, which is that there is a "request" in this sense that was "formulated" by Ukraine, and that this matter is not "escalatory" and that it "does not affect Russian lands, but rather helps efforts to resist" the attack. and that it "does not weaken the capacity of the French army."

For his part, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte stressed that "there are no taboos, but it would be a big step" if combat aircraft were delivered to Kyiv.

In a related context, Andriy Yermak, director of the Ukrainian President's Office, said that Kyiv had received positive signals from Poland regarding F-16 GFX fighters, and was ready to transfer them to Ukraine in coordination with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Earlier, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Colonel Yuri Ihnat, told Al-Jazeera that his country needs American "F-16" fighters to replace its "worn out" Russian air fleet, and that it needs at least 25 combat aircraft.

On the other hand, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that any decision to send F-16s to Ukraine will be made in full coordination with NATO countries.

Morawiecki added that Warsaw is following all steps to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities with its NATO partners, and in particular with the United States.

In a related context, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Denmark's defense support helps provide his country with the necessary weapons and equipment, but "there is still a lot to be done to liberate the south of the country."

This came in a joint press conference held by Zelensky with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who accompanied him on a visit to Mykolaiv and Odessa in southern Ukraine.

Zelensky discussed with Frederiksen the possibility of strengthening anti-aircraft and anti-ship defense in southern Ukraine.

In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Schultz said, "Peace cannot be achieved over the heads of the Ukrainians, so we set the Russian withdrawal as a condition for peace talks." The Chancellor added that his position is clear and shared with Brazilian President Lula da Silva in "condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine."

The big revenge

Yesterday, Monday, the Ukrainian president said that Russia had begun its "big revenge" against the Ukrainian resistance, at a time when Russian forces announced a series of additional gains in eastern Ukraine.

Zelensky: Russia seeks revenge for Ukraine's success in expelling Russian forces from Kyiv and the southeast (Anatolia)

Zelensky has been warning for weeks that Moscow aims to escalate its attack on Ukraine after nearly two months of virtual stalemate on the front in the south and east of the country.

Although there was no sign of a new, wider offensive on the border, Denis Pushilin, Russia's ruler over parts of the Donetsk region it controls, said the forces had established a foothold in Volydar, a coal-mining town whose ruins have been a Ukrainian stronghold since the start of the war.

Zelensky said that Russia is launching relentless attacks in the east despite the heavy losses it suffered, commenting on that that Moscow is retaliating for Ukraine's success in expelling Russian forces from the capital, southeast and south at an earlier stage of the war.

"I think Russia really wants their revenge to be big. I think they have started it (already)," he added, telling reporters in the southern port city of Odessa. "Every day they either bring more of their regular forces, or we see an increase in the number of Wagner forces."

naval base

The Russian RIA Novosti news agency quoted an informed source as saying that Russian artillery bombed the naval base in the city of Ochakov (south), killing 14 Ukrainian soldiers, including "British mercenaries."

The Russian source said that the information obtained by the Russian side indicates that the bombing destroyed equipment, life support systems and infrastructure at the base where a unit of the Ukrainian Special Naval Operations Center is deployed, according to the same source.

He added that the "mercenaries", some of whom were among the dead, took on the task of special training for Ukrainian fighters to carry out what he described as sabotage operations in the Black Sea basin and the Sea of ​​Azov.