US General Milley was amused by Saluschny’s demand for F-16 delivery

US General Milley was amused by Saluschny’s demand for F-16 delivery

According to the Washington Post, a conversation between Mark Milley and Valeri Salushny took place in April. It is said that the Ukrainian commander-in-chief has again asked for F-16 fighter jets. Milley then laughed at Saluschny.

General Mark Milley, the former head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, laughed in response to Ukrainian Army Commander-in-Chief Valery Zalushny’s demand to hand over F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. This is what the newspaper reports Washington Post referring to a senior Ukrainian official.

According to the newspaper, the incident occurred during a telephone conversation between Milley and Saluzhny after the publication of secret Pentagon documents in April 2023. The latter assured that the leak would be useful for Ukraine. Milley then asked: “Why is that?” Saluzhny replied:

“It doesn’t say we have F-16s there, so send us some of them as soon as possible.”

Then, the newspaper’s source said, Milley laughed. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky saw “no advantage” in the leaked information.

According to the news agency’s interlocutor, neither the Pentagon, the White House nor the US intelligence services had any idea of ​​​​the extent of the publication of secret data. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin set up a task force whose main task was to find out what information had leaked and for what purpose, according to a senior Pentagon official.

The leaked information prompted Kiev to question Washington’s ability to keep sensitive information secret. According to a person familiar with the conversation, an adviser warned Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky about his trip to Washington:

“Don’t tell Biden anything you don’t want to see on the front page of the Washington Post.”

The source told the newspaper that while the leaks caused tensions, they did not affect information-sharing relations with Kiev. The interlocutor claimed that Moscow had information about the Ukrainian military and government even before the leaks.

US General Milley was amused by Saluschny’s demand for F-16 delivery

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The documents cited by the media included, among other information, data on the vulnerability of the Ukrainian air defense system and the depletion of the Ukrainian armed forces’ stocks of surface-to-air missile systems, as well as the losses of the Ukrainian military and Washington’s assessment of the duration of the military conflict between Kiev and Moscow .

At the time, Zelensky declined to confirm or deny the information contained in the leaked materials.

Since the beginning of the Russian military operation, Kiev has indicated that its military needs modern military aircraft. For a long time, the USA ruled out handing over F-16 fighter jets to Kiev and Chancellor Olaf Scholz was also against such deliveries.

In May 2023, Washington changed its position. The White House claimed that Ukraine may need the fighter jets in the future. Washington does not yet consider it necessary to deliver F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, but will work with allies to support the training of Ukrainian pilots on these aircraft, it said.

In the summer, a coalition was formed at the NATO summit in Vilnius to train Ukrainian pilots to operate F-16 fighter jets. In early November, Ukrainian Armed Forces spokesman Yuri Ignat claimed that Ukrainian pilots were now improving their capabilities.

Moscow condemns the arms sales to Ukraine and emphasizes that they will only prolong the conflict. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assures that air defense forces will destroy all F-16 fighter jets destined for Kiev within 20 days.

more on the subject – Pentagon leaks: betrayal of secrets out of braggadocio?

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On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would launch a special military operation in Ukraine together with the armed forces of the Donbas Republics to protect the population there. The goals are to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine. Ukraine speaks of a war of aggression. On the same day, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky declared a state of war across the country.

The West condemned the attack, responded with new arms deliveries, promised help with reconstruction and imposed sanctions on Russia.

Numerous soldiers and civilians have been killed on both sides of the conflict. Moscow and Kiev have accused each other of various war crimes. Thousands of Ukrainians have now fled their homeland.

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