Russia’s attack on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power facility has reignited calls for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, despite Western officials’ repeated rejection of the proposal as a risk of sparking a larger conflict in Europe.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the people of Western Europe on Friday to urge that their leaders change direction because the shelling of a Ukrainian nuclear power facility threatens the security of the whole continent.
According to military strategists, there is no possibility that the United States, Britain, and their European allies will enforce a no-fly zone because it would quickly escalate the conflict in Ukraine into a nuclear showdown between NATO and Russia. Here’s a more in-depth description of the problem.
What exactly is a no-fly zone?
All unlicensed aircraft would be prohibited from flying over Ukraine under a no-fly zone. Western nations enforced similar restrictions on areas of Iraq for more than a decade during the 1991 Gulf War, as well as during the civil wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1993 to 1995 and Libya in 2011.
Why is NATO refusing to take this step in Ukraine?
Simply said, it would risk a direct military battle with Russia, which may grow into a larger European war with a nuclear-armed superpower.
While the concept has piqued the public’s interest, designating a no-fly zone may oblige NATO pilots to shoot down Russian planes.
But it goes farther than that. NATO would need to deploy refuelling tankers and electronic surveillance aircraft in addition to fighter jets to assist the mission. To protect these relatively slow, high-flying planes, NATO would have to destroy surface-to-air missile batteries in Russia and Belarus, perhaps escalating into a larger confrontation.
What would a no-fly zone accomplish?
Ukrainian officials and villagers huddled in bomb shelters think a no-fly zone would safeguard populations – and now nuclear power plants – from Russian airstrikes.
However, many believe that Russia’s ground forces, not planes, are causing most of the damage in Ukraine.
According to Justin Bronk, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, what Ukrainians really want is a larger intervention like the one that occurred in Libya in 2011, when NATO soldiers started strikes on government strongholds. That is unlikely to occur when the opponent is Russia.
What is going on in Ukraine’s skies?
Predictions that Russia would rapidly take control of the airspace over Ukraine have not come true.
Military analysts are perplexed as to why Russia has opted to keep the majority of its fixed-wing combat aircraft on the ground throughout this vast land attack. One possible explanation is that Russian pilots aren’t properly educated in assisting large-scale ground operations, which necessitate coordination with artillery, helicopters, and other assets in a fast-paced setting.
“I believe they are concerned because that is a very confined region.” “It’s not like in the Middle East, where there’s a lot of open space in the air,” said Robert Latif, a former US Air Force major general who currently teaches at the University of Notre Dame.
“They might simply cross borders,” he stated. “With both Ukrainian and Russian air defence systems and Ukrainian, what little they have, and Russian jets flying about, it could be a very complicated situation.” “I believe they’re a little concerned about actually being able to pull it off.”
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