Russia: “We Can Shoot Down Anyone, Anywhere”

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In a statement to RIA Novosti published on Monday,  the chairman of the Russian State Duma Defense Committee, Andrey Kartapolov, clarified that if the F-16s “are not used for their intended purpose” or are simply held in storage at foreign airbases with the intent to transfer them to Ukraine, Russia will target them. F-16 fighter jets and any airfields they are based at will be legitimate targets for the Russian military if they participate in combat missions against Moscow’s forces.

Is this just another warning that Russia intends to put out there and that the West and Ukraine intend to violate? F-16s have already been the source of several “red line crossings” in which Russia has exercised restraint and avoided retaliation.

If the F-16s are to be sent to Ukraine where they will be equipped, maintained, and flown from Ukrainian airfields, then Russia would have no claims against its former partners” and would not target them.  But that means Ukraine won’t be able to use them in the war. If they are used, they will become targets.

The comments come as Kiev prepares to receive the first delivery of U.S.-made fighter jets from its Western backers after Ukrainian pilots were trained to fly them.

This isn’t the first time Russia has warned that it intends to destroy the Western-supplied warplanes. How many more warnings will Moscow give before it makes the decision to follow through?

Putin To U.S.: Russia Will DESTROY F-16s Used By Ukraine

Fortunately, World War 3 is being held off by Russia’s restraint even in the face of major provocation from the West and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization.)

If the Western-supplied jets take off from foreign bases and carry out sorties and strikes against Russian forces, both the fighter planes and the airfields they are stationed at will be “legitimate targets,” according to Kartapolov.  “As for [our ability] to shoot [them] down, we can shoot down anyone, anywhere,” Kartapolov insisted.

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