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Newsweek reports possible F-16 presence in Ukraine, Air Force firmly denies information

Newsweek reports possible F-16 presence in Ukraine, Air Force firmly denies information The Air Forces denied rumors about the F-16 (Photo: Getty Images)

The American news agency Newsweek wrote that the first F-16 aircraft likely had already arrived in Ukraine. However, the Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat did not confirm this information, according to Newsweek and a comment from the spokesperson of the Air Force, Yurii Ihnat.

Rumors about the arrival of F-16s in Ukraine emerged after the Russian army lost four Su-34s last week. Russian propagandists suggested that the Sukhoi aircraft could have been shot down by F-16s, which Ukraine was expecting from Western partners. Furthermore, the Russians even claimed the alleged destruction of the first aircraft.

Today, however, Newsweek has reported that an unnamed source in the U.S. suggested that Ukraine likely received the first promised F-16s.

Yet, in a statement to RBC-Ukraine, Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat denied the arrival of F-16s in Ukraine. According to him, Ukraine is still in the process of preparing to receive the first planes.

Updated 20:21

Later, Ihnat posted on Facebook responding to the material by Newsweek.

"The American news agency Newsweek released material 'out of the blue' with incredible assumptions about the presence of F-16s in Ukraine and even their ALLEGED involvement in the destruction of six Russian planes. This is a great opportunity for hype among our Telegram channels and various media, which disregard their own reputation," he wrote.

The Air Force spokesperson also added that the presence of F-16s in Ukraine at the moment would be impractical.

F-16s for Ukraine

This year, Western allies of Ukraine formed an aviation coalition to provide the Armed Forces with modern fighters, including F-16s. Under this coalition, Ukraine will receive no less than 61 aircraft from Denmark and the Netherlands. The first F-16s are expected to arrive in Ukraine in spring 2024.

In early November, the Netherlands sent the first five F-16s to Romania for the training of Ukrainian pilots, where a special center was inaugurated. Additionally, yesterday, the first group of Ukrainian pilots began training on F-16s in Denmark.

According to a previous statement from the Air Force, Ukraine has ambitious plans for the F-16s, as they are capable of performing a wide range of tasks.