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F-16, Avdiivka front, and more: Zelenskyy conducts Staff meeting

F-16, Avdiivka front, and more: Zelenskyy conducts Staff meeting Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Today, on February 22, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief's Staff. They discussed the situation in Avdiivka and southern sectors, and the issue of F-16 fighter jets.

Syrskyi and Budanov's reports

During the meeting, the President heard the latest developments in the operational situation from the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) Oleksandr Syrskyi. They discussed:

  • the situation on all major fronts, defensive actions, as well as individual offensive operations;
  • the supply and expenditure of ammunition, missiles, and drones.

In particular, there was an update about the enemy's plans from the Chief of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov.

Avdiivka and Southern directions

The situation in the Avdiivka and Southern sectors was discussed in detail:

  • Avdiivka - a new line of defense, strengthening of the borders, further intentions of the enemy;
  • Krynky - Ukrainian marines securely hold the bridgehead.

"The enemy managed only a disinformation operation," the President adds.


A separate closed report concerned F-16 aircraft. They discussed the number of fighters that Ukraine will receive in the first batch, as well as the timing of delivery.

In particular, they raised the issue of preparing infrastructure and personnel for the aircraft.

"We have clarified the calendar for further training of pilots, technicians and the receipt of the next aircraft," Zelenskyy adds.

F-16 for Ukraine

Earlier, Ukraine's allies announced the creation of an aviation coalition to provide our country with modern F-16 fighters. The coalition was led by the Netherlands and Denmark.

At the end of December, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the Dutch government had decided to prepare the first 18 F-16 fighters for delivery to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Budanov said he expects to see the fighters in the sky this spring. However, according to Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat, no one knows when Kyiv will receive the F-16s. At the same time, "the process is underway."

Fighting for Avdiivka

In early October, Russian invaders launched an offensive against Avdiivka. As Ukrainian defenders said in February, the fighting in the Avdiivka area was more difficult than the fighting in Bakhmut.

On February 16, the commander of the Tavria Operational and Strategic Group of troops, Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, announced his decision to withdraw from the Zenit position on the southeastern outskirts of Avdiivka. The very next day, Ukrainian soldiers left the city to avoid being surrounded by the enemy. Zelenskyy, for his part, called the decision to withdraw fair and professional.