Day 450: U.S. to back fighter jet coalition, train Ukrainian pilots

U.S. will back the fighter jet coalition and will train Ukrainian pilots. Zelenskyi addressed the Arab League summit on visit to Saudi Arabia and will likely to appear in person at the G7 summit in Japan.

U.S. to back fighter jet coalition, train Ukrainian pilots

U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday told G7 leaders the United States will support an effort to train Ukrainian pilots on advanced aircraft, including F-16s, a senior administration official tells CNN.

The joint training effort will likely happen entirely in Europe. But U.S. personnel will participate in the training alongside allies and partners, the official said. 

“As the training takes place over the coming months, our coalition of countries participating in this effort will decide when to actually provide jets, how many we will provide, and who will provide them,” the official said.

The Biden administration has signaled to European allies in recent weeks that the U.S. would allow them to export F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, sources familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Russia launches another air attack on Kyiv, tenth this month

Overnight on May 19, an air raid alert was declared in a number of regions across Ukraine, including Kyiv. The Ukrainian capital was attacked from the air by Russia for the tenth time this month. Blasts were also heard in the western regions of Lviv and Rivne. Russia launched 22 Shahed-136/131 attack drones that entered Ukraine’s air space from the north and the north-east. It also fired six Kalibr cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea. Ukrainian air defenses destroyed three cruise missiles and 16 attack drones.  

The Patriot air defense system damaged in Ukraine on Tuesday by a Russian strike has been fixed and is “fully back and operational”, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said Thursday. Spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force Command Colonel Yuriy Ihnat has made a similar statement, saying that the system is operational.

Zelenskyi addresses Arab League summit on visit to Saudi Arabia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has arrived in Saudi Arabia to attend the Arab League summit, he announced on Telegram. 

“Our priorities are the return of all political prisoners of Crimea and the temporarily occupied territories, the return of all prisoners and illegally deported persons, the presentation of our peace formula, the implementation of which should involve as many states as possible, and the guarantee of energy security next winter,” he said. Another priority is to protect the Muslim community of Ukraine he added.

Mustafa Dzhemilev, a leader of the Crimean Tatar people, is in Saudi Arabia with the Ukrainian President. Zelenskyi met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before holding other bilateral meetings.

In his address to Arab nations, the Ukrainian President said: “Russia is weak – we beat it even when it has more weapons in its hands; its aggressiveness does not come from strength, but from the understanding that the time of empires has passed. That’s because the time of free independent nations will never end, and Ukraine proves it.”

Zelenskyi urged summit participants to cooperate with Ukraine directly, “with no intermediaries”. He recalled that Saudi Arabia had helped Ukraine to free its people from Russian captivity. “We can expand this experience!” he said. Zelenskyi also called on Arab nations to help shield the Ukrainian people, including Ukraine’s Muslims and the Crimean Tatars, from Russia’s aggression.

In September 2022, Saudi Arabia mediated the release of 10 foreign nationals fighting on Ukraine’s side, who were taken prisoner by Russia.

Zelenskyi likely to appear in person at G7 summit in Japan 

Volodymyr Zelenskyi will travel in person to Japan for the Group of Seven (G7) summit, media reported, citing both Ukrainian and international sources.

Zelensky had been scheduled to attend the summit virtually on Sunday, but the Ukrainian leader is now expected to come in person, according to people familiar with the plans, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive travel, the Washington Post said. Zelenskyi is set to arrive in Japan on the evening of May 20. He will join the summit on Sunday. The White House declined to comment.

Zelenskyi’s presence, and his calls for greater support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, will add “drama and urgency” to the gathering, Reuters said. Leaders of the world’s richest democracies acted on Friday to target Russia’s sanctions evasion.

On the morning on Friday, Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine confirmed that Zelenskyi will make an in-person appearance at the G7 summit in Hiroshima. A few hours later, the National Security and Defense Council released a conflicting statement, saying that the Ukrainian President will address the G7 meeting via video link. 

The Group of Seven leaders issued a statement on Ukraine on day one of the summit. They agreed to stiffen sanctions against Russia and renewed their commitment to provide financial support to Ukraine for as long as it takes, the joint statement said. “We will broaden our actions to ensure that exports of all items critical to Russia’s aggression including those used by Russia on the battlefield are restricted across all our jurisdictions, including exports of industrial machinery, tools, and other technology that Russia uses to rebuild its war machine,” the document reads. The countries also pledged to continue efforts to reduce Russia’ revenues from metals and diamonds.

Remembering one of the greatest Soviet regime crimes. Ukraine in Flames #435

On May 18, 1944, the Soviet regime committed one of its greatest crimes – the forcible eviction of the Crimean Tatars from their homeland to Central Asia and remote regions of russia. The deportation was accompanied by numerous human sacrifices, broke the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and  forced the entire nation to live far away from their native land for decades. Several generations of Crimean Tatars grew up in exile. Watch Ukraine in flames #435 to find out about the mass deportation of the Crimean Tatars and the struggle for the right to live freely in one’s homeland, when Crimea is once again occupied and a repressive policy is being pursued against the Crimean Tatars.


  • Eskender Bariev, Head of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, Head of the Department for Legal and Foreign Affairs of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
  • Alim Aliev, Journalist, Deputy General Director of Ukrainian Institute
  • Andriy Ivanets, Historian, Representative of the Regional Council of Crimean Ukrainians