If you’re looking for an example of patriotism, courage and determination, look no further than Ukrainian Pilots.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, amidst the war, has been requesting NATO and the USA for fighter jets without any response in his favour. The countries believe that such a move might lead to an escalation in tension between the nations. However, instead of waiting for help, Ukrainians have started a crowdfunding campaign named ‘#buymeafighterjet’ to restock the nation’s fighter force.
President Zelenskyy hit back at the USA for this decision, saying, “Listen: We have a war! We do not have time for all these signals. This is not ping pong! Do not shift the responsibility. Send us planes.”
Ukraine’s Air Force has 210 military aircraft including 98 combat aircraft, according to the Flight International 2022 World Air Forces database, per the Independent. Russia’s air force has 3,863 aircraft, according to Flight International’s database, per the Independent, and more than 1,400 combat planes than Ukraine.
Ukraine’s request for crowdfunded jets comes as Russia’s military prepares for the second phase of the war, targeting the country’s east.
The campaign is going viral with a video on social media showing a Ukrainian Pilot wearing a helmet with the visor down strolling in front of a MiG-29 that appears to be damaged, following which he asks for donations so that Ukraine can acquire operable fighter jets. Further, the pilot says, “help me to protect my sky, filled with Russian planes that bomb my land, kill my friends and destroy our homes and everything I have ever known,” he adds, “Give us wings to fight for our sky.”
According to reports, Ukraine has lost over 30 fighter planes in the six weeks since Russia launched its military attack. However, it’s unclear whether the aeroplane in the video was recently damaged or was one of the numerous unserviceable planes destroyed during the conflict.
The average cost of a plane is quoted at $25 million on the #buymeafighterjet project’s website. As per the information on the website, the Ukrainian Air Force now deploys the Su 25, Su-27, Su-24, and MiG-29 combat jets. According to the page, a new MiG-29 Fulcrum can cost $25 million, while a Su-27 Flanker can cost up to $40 million.
Donors are not asked to contribute directly to the fighter jet crowdfunding initiative online because a complete chart of aircraft type, location, and availability is connected.
They are instead invited to send an email for more information. “Experts will assist you on technological and legal difficulties,” the site claims.
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