It is an emotional time. After a week of uncertainty, people yearn for a resolution, even one that is bound to fail. Patience is more important than ever.
A no-fly zone, also known as a no-flight zone (NFZ), or air exclusion zone (AEZ), is ‘a territory or area established by a military power over which certain aircraft are not permitted to fly.‘
In the case of Ukraine, although the notion has ‘captured the imagination’ of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the public, ‘declaring a no-fly zone could force NATO pilots to shoot down Russian aircraft’ if they enter the NFZ.’
If it were known to the Russian pilots that NATO forces would not intervene in the event of an intrusion, as would almost-certainly be the case, the no-fly zone would be little more than a ‘declaration’ and remain unenforceable.
NATO forces would also have to deploy refuelling tankers and electronic-surveillance aircraft to support the mission.
The presence of hundreds of aircraft would increase the risk of miscalculation or mistakes that lead to unintended consequences, U.S. defense officials and others have said.
James Porteous / Clipper Media News
It is always prudent to keep in mind that those who decide to ‘place’ a story at the centre of the media stage are the same ones who can remove it with a flick of the wrist.
The “self-hypnosis of those who are weak, under-confident inside” and that Western reservations indicated that “not everyone considers the struggle for freedom to be Europe’s number one goal… All the people who will die starting from this day will also die because of you. Because of your weakness, because of your disunity…”Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
It is always prudent to keep in mind that those who decide to ‘place’ a story at the centre of the media stage are the same ones who can remove it with a flick of the wrist.James Porteous / Clipper Media News
04 March 2022 | DANICA KIRKA | AP
LONDON (AP) — Russia’s attack on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has renewed calls for NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, despite the repeated rejection of the idea by western leaders concerned about triggering a wider war in Europe.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday asked the people of Western Europe to demand that their leaders change course because the shelling of a nuclear power plant in Ukraine threatens the security of the entire continent.
“Immediate closure of the skies over Ukraine is needed,” he said. “Take to the streets and say that you want to live, to live on earth without radioactive contamination. Radiation does not know where the Russian border is.”
The attack did not, as initially feared, result in radiation release.
But military analysts say there is no chance that the U.S., Britain and their European allies will impose a no-fly zone because it could easily escalate the war in Ukraine into a nuclear confrontation between NATO and Russia. Here’s a more detailed explanation about the situation:
WHAT IS A NO-FLY ZONE?
A no-fly zone would bar all unauthorized aircraft from flying over Ukraine. Western nations imposed such restrictions over parts of Iraq for more than a decade following the 1991 Gulf War, during the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1993-95, and during the Libyan civil war in 2011.
WHY WON’T NATO TAKE THIS STEP IN UKRAINE?
In simple terms, because it would risk a direct military conflict with Russia that could escalate into a wider European war with a nuclear-armed superpower.
While the idea may have captured the public imagination, declaring a no-fly zone could force NATO pilots to shoot down Russian aircraft.
But it goes beyond that. In addition to fighter planes, NATO would have to deploy refueling tankers and electronic-surveillance aircraft to support the mission. To protect these relatively slow, high-flying planes, NATO would have to destroy surface-to-air missile batteries in Russia and Belarus, again risking a broader conflict.
“The only way to implement a no-fly zone is to send NATO fighter planes into Ukrainian airspace, and then impose that no-fly zone by shooting down Russian planes,” NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said Friday. “We understand the desperation, but we also believe that if we did that, we would end up with something that could end in a full-fledged war in Europe.”
“We have a responsibility as NATO allies to prevent this war from escalating beyond Ukraine,” he said.
WHAT WOULD A NO-FLY ZONE ACHIEVE?
Ukrainian authorities and people cowering night after night in bomb shelters say a no-fly zone would protect civilians — and now nuclear power stations — from Russian air strikes.
But analysts say it’s Russia’s ground forces, not aircraft, that are causing most of the damage in Ukraine.
What Ukrainians actually want is a broader intervention like the one that occurred in Libya in 2011, when NATO forces launched attacks on government positions, said Justin Bronk, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. That’s not likely to happen when the opponent is Russia.
“They want to see the West kind of sweeping in and taking out the rocket artillery that’s pummeling Ukrainian cities,” Bronk said. “We’re not going to go to war against the Russian army. They are a massive nuclear-armed power. … There is no way that we could possibly model, let alone control, the escalation chain that would come from such an action.”
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE SKIES OVER UKRAINE?
Predictions that Russia would quickly control the skies over Ukraine have not come to fruition.
Military experts are wondering why Russia has chosen to leave most of its fixed-wing combat aircraft on the ground during this massive land offensive. One explanation may be that Russian pilots aren’t well trained in supporting large-scale land operations, engagements that require coordination with artillery, helicopters and other assets in a fast-moving environment.
“I think that maybe they’re a little bit worried that that is a very constrained area. It’s not like the Middle East, where there’s all kinds of space to roam around in the air,” said Robert Latif, a retired U.S. Air Force major general who now teaches at the University of Notre Dame.
“They could very easily stray over borders,” he explained. “With both Ukrainian and Russian air defense systems and Ukrainian, what little they have, and Russian airplanes all flying around — that could be a very confusing. I think maybe they’re a little bit worried about actually being able to pull it off.”
Associated Press Writer Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed.
04 March 2022 | Nancy A. Youssef |WSJ
Comments by the chief of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that alliance members won’t impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine underscore the risks and logistical challenges of taking such a move.
Creating a continuous, effective no-fly zone over Ukraine would potentially bring NATO into open conflict with Russia, U.S. and NATO officials and military specialists said.
Logistically, they said, enforcing a no-fly zone would require as many as several hundred planes, not only to patrol the area but also to support those aircraft maintaining that no-fly zone, and would necessitate coordination by air forces from multiple nations.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, after an emergency meeting of alliance foreign ministers on Friday, said that alliance members had agreed they wouldn’t operate planes over Ukraine or send troops into the country. “NATO is not seeking a war with Russia,” he said, adding, “We will not be part of the conflict.”
Pentagon officials, while warning of the perils associated with a no-fly zone, say that allowing Russia to launch indiscriminate attacks, likely with higher civilian casualties, also poses the risk of an escalating conflict.
Under current circumstances, Russia might challenge a no-fly zone. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he would press ahead with the war, though Russian and Ukrainian negotiators agreed to set up humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from besieged cities and deliver needed supplies.
Should Russian aircraft enter restricted space, U.S. and NATO forces would face a decision of whether to use force to stop it. Russia could see such an attack on its nation as military aggression by NATO that demands a response.
“It would essentially mean the U.S. military would be shooting down planes – Russian planes. That is definitely escalatory. That would potentially put us into a place where we`re in a military conflict with Russia. That is not something the president wants to do,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told MSNBC on Monday. “We are not going to have a military war with Russia with U.S. troops.”
Even in scenarios short of that, the presence of hundreds of aircraft would increase the risk of miscalculation or mistakes that lead to unintended consequences, U.S. defense officials said.
04 March 2022 | DW
NATO foreign ministers have rejected the idea of setting up a no-fly zone requested by Kyiv. It comes despite NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s warning that the conflict in Ukraine would probablyNATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg.VALERIA MONGELLI/BLOOMBERG NEWS worsen in the coming days.
Stoltenberg called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the war immediately and without conditions and to engage in further diplomacy.
“This is President Putin’s war, one he has chosen, planned and is waging against a peaceful country. We call on President Putin to stop this war immediately, withdraw all his forces without conditions and engage in genuine diplomacy now,” he said.
He emphasized that NATO’s role was to avoid the conflict spreading beyond Ukraine and that the alliance was not seeking a war with Russia.
“At the same time, we have a responsibility as NATO allies to prevent this war from escalating beyond Ukraine because that would be even more dangerous, more devastating and would cause even more human suffering.”