Why the EU must send fighter aircraft to Ukraine

The current war in Ukraine could be considered as being broadly analogous to fascist Italy’s 1935-1936 invasion of Ethiopia.  There you had a nation which was militarily stronger than the country it was invading.  The victim nation (i.e., Ethiopia) fought back heroically against the odds and in doing so won world-wide respect.  Alas, Ethiopia eventually succumbed to fascist Italy and the ensuing guerrilla insurgency was subsequently brutally extinguished.

The narrative of the Ethiopian-Italian War seemed all the more tragic because it was apparent that the world could do little to help Ethiopia (or Abyssinia as it was then called) except to express its moral outrage and to offer in-principle solidarity.  However, had international oil sanctions been imposed on fascist Italy then Mussolini would have been forced to abandon his invasion because the hit to the Italian economy would have been economically unsustainable.   

Similarly, if North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations such as Poland provided Ukraine with its MiG fighter jet planes (as it appeared it wished to do before the NATO / US leadership stopped the proposal) then Ukraine may well have stood a better chance of successfully defending itself, or at least have damaged the Russian military effort even more than it has been able to do so far.  The fact that President Joe Biden vetoed the proposal whereby the United States would have lent Poland its military aircraft so that Polish MiGs could have been passed onto Ukraine is not surprising given his recent abandonment of Afghanistan. 

It is therefore, now imperative that European NATO nations, particularly former members of the Warsaw Pact, move quickly and if necessary without American approval to provide Ukraine with military aircraft.  Such a supply would give the Ukrainians a viable prospect of actually beating back the Russian invasion or at the very least stalemating the war, which could lead to severe repercussions for Putin. 

If Poland was to pass on its MiGs to Ukraine, then nations such as Hungary and/or the Czech Republic could loan Warsaw their military aircraft instead of having to rely on the United States to do so.  The situation illustrates the need for a degree of inter-European co-operation without American approval, because if Putin gets away with occupying Ukraine, then he will most likely utilize that occupied nation as a springboard base to subsequently invade Central and Eastern Europe sometime in the future (perhaps in five to ten years’ time -if not earlier) once he has brutally subdued Ukraine. 

While it is true that international sanctions will hit the Russian economy hard and adversely affect its people’s living standards, this is unlikely to halt or even to deter Putin.  The Russian dictator has an extensive apparatus of repression in place which he is now effectively applying to crush domestic dissent.   Furthermore, communist mainland China will provide the Russian Federation with sufficient economic support to withstand international sanctions in the short to medium term, if not beyond. 

Of course, Russia should itself be careful not to become too dependent upon Communist China for  the Federation may eventually become a Chinese satellite with its Siberian territory becoming subject to Chinese Communist encroachment.  For in truth Russia’s ultimate destiny rests with the European Union (EU).  The hope is that one day Russia will turn to the West by joining the EU.  Therefore, it is imperative that the Russian Federation be saved from itself and the stupidity of Putin’s policies by Ukraine being provided with military aircraft from the former Warsaw Pact nations now in NATO as a matter of urgency. Putin’s aggression in Ukraine has to be countered now before it continues to spread. 

From an Australian perspective the Russian invasion of Ukraine also draws into focus the need for this nation to have parliamentarians of the high standard of the late Kimberley Kitching (1970 to 2022).  This recently deceased Victorian Labor Party senator was a staunch supporter of human rights and democracy around the world.  As such the late senator was the most outspoken voice in federal parliament against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), speaking out in favour of human rights in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xingjiang Province. 

Not only did Senator Kitching give her verbal support to human rights around the world but she also followed her words with actions by helping ensure that the Australian federal parliament passed the Magnitsky Act which sanctions individuals associated with despotic regimes.  Also, in a domestic context she was a staunch defender of trade union and employee rights. 

Although Social Action Australia (SAA) has expressed its support for the Morrison government’s 2022 re-election (‘Why the Morrison Government should be Re-Elected’) this social democratic operation would have voiced its support for Senator Kitching’s re-election had she lived and been pre-selected.  Hopefully, the Victorian ALP will honour the memory of this outstanding late senator by pre-selecting someone with similar perspectives and the courage to express them.

There can be little doubt that had Senator Kitching lived, she would not only be giving her verbal support for Ukraine but also advocating practical measures to help that nation to survive its current trials.  One such practical measure which would vitally assist Ukraine is for the EU to provide the fighter planes as requested by Ukraine.