Putin’s former writer says a military coup is becoming possible in Russia

US President Joe Biden speaks to the media after arriving at the White House in Washington, US on January 30. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

US President Joe Biden said on Monday he would not send US fighter jets to Ukraine, even as the United States increased military aid in the form of artillery and tanks.

“No,” Biden said when asked by a reporter if he would send F16s to Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has sought fighter jets to help support his military effort against Russia. Biden has consistently said jets are off the table, though he has offered help in other areas.

Last week, for example, Biden announced that he would send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, despite senior U.S. officials previously saying the heavy-duty vehicles were unsuitable for the country’s military.

Speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, Biden also said he was unsure whether he would visit Europe next month for the first anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine.

In response to a separate question, Biden said he plans to visit Poland but is not sure when.

CNN reported last week that the White House was exploring the possibility of Biden visiting Europe to mark 12 months since Russia invaded Ukraine.

A little background: Ukrainian leaders renewed calls for Western warplanes. “I sent a wish list card to Santa last year and also fighter jets [were] including in this wish list,” Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov told CNN last week.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby acknowledged Friday that Zelensky had requested fighter jets. “We’re constantly talking to the Ukrainians about their needs and we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to meet them — and if we can’t, some of our allies and partners can,” Kirby said.

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