MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Ground Forces Commander Alexander Syrsky has said the country needs US planes and helicopters to provide support to troops on the ground.
"I would talk about A-10s as an option if they'll be given to us," he said in an interview with Reuters.
The attack aircraft, which first entered service with the US Air Force about 50 years ago, "has a wide array of weapons for destroying land targets to help the infantry," the military officer went on to say.
Syrsky also said attack helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache and AH-1 Super Cobra, along with UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters, also were on Ukraine’s wish list.
For the time being, however, Ukraine is still waiting for the delivery of F-16 fighter jets that it was promised last year. It is not the US, but US allies in NATO that are set to provide the jets. At the end of August, the Netherlands announced it could transfer 42 F-16s to Ukraine, while Denmark pledged to give Kiev 19 of them.
Yury Ignat, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, said last week that the country was still preparing the infrastructure for the US-made aircraft, while six Ukrainian pilots were still undergoing training in Denmark. Kiev is hoping it will receive the fighter jets in the first half of 2024.
As for military assistance that comes directly from the US, the White House said on Thursday that it had been halted due to a lack of funding. US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said as much at a regular news conference as well.
Hurdles at US Congress
The White House asked Capitol Hill nearly four months ago for additional budget allocations of about $106 billion in fiscal year 2024, which started on October 1 in the US, primarily to provide assistance to Israel and Ukraine, as well as to counter China and Russia in the Asia-Pacific region.
However, the request and some alternative bills is still up in the air. Some Republicans in the House and the Senate in recent months spoke against continuing to prop up Kiev. House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, has warned several times that further aid to Ukraine should be linked to tightening control over the US southern border. Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has made statements along the same lines. Democrats and Republicans are still entangled in a debate on these issues.