Ukrainian pilots start ‘Buy Me a Fighter Jet’ campaign to help defeat Russian invasion
Ukrainian military pilots have started a crowdsourcing campaign in a bid to procure new fighter jets and defend their country against the Russian invasion, Business Insider reported.
Since the Russian aggression began nearly two months ago, Ukrainian forces have been fighting tooth and nail to keep their territories from falling into the Russians' hands. Helping their cause has been the supply of arms from members of the NATO alliance. However, as the conflict prolongs, Ukraine is in need of fighter jets to counter Russian attacks.
How many fighter aircraft does Ukraine have?
According to The Independent's report, Ukraine has a total of 210 military aircraft while the Russian Air Force has more than 3,800 aircraft on its books of which over 1,400 are combat aircraft. Ukrainian forces have been able to counter aerial attacks with not only ground-based defense systems but also by engaging in dogfights.
Earlier in the conflict, reports emerged of the Ghost of Kyiv who had single-handedly shot down many Russian aircraft. However, Russian attacks on Ukrainian military establishments also caused damage that can be seen in the video clip above.
The call for crowdsourcing fighter jets comes after Western nations reneged on their promise of supplying fighter aircraft to Ukraine, Business Insider reported. When the conflict first broke, Ukrainian allies were keen to supply military aircraft but stopped short of supplying them after the U.S. feared escalation.
What do the Ukrainian fighters want?
According to the campaign website, Russian attacks have destroyed hundreds of combat-ready aircraft, and the refusal to close Ukrainian skies is allowing the bombing of residential buildings, schools, and hospitals in the country every day.
The pilots are requesting organizations and individuals to use their financial and political capabilities to buy fighter jets and hand them over to Ukrainian military forces. Apart from sharing a list of aircraft such as the Su-22, Su-25, Su-27, and MiG-29 that the pilots are accustomed to flying, it also lists the locations where these aircraft are currently available.
The website goes on to request the American-made F-15s, F-16s, and F-18s that the pilots could quickly master and are hopeful will be able to regain control of their skies with. The average price of these aircraft is estimated to be $25 million each.
Calling on people of all nationalities and all walks of life, the website has also shared an email address for contact, where a team of experts is available to advise interested donors on legal and technical issues.