I train Ukraine’s fighter jet pilots battling Putin – don’t make us beg, give us what we need NOW to finally beat Russia

I train Ukraine’s fighter jet pilots battling Putin – don’t make us beg, give us what we need NOW to finally beat Russia

A UKRAINIAN pilot who trains the country’s fighter aces has fumed his country shouldn’t have to “beg” for the aid they need to defeat Putin.

Tim Fatkullin, 30, is a Ukrainian professional pilot who teaches Kyiv‘s best Top Guns how to perform complex manoeuvres to avoid missiles.

InstagramTim Fatkullin was a former stunt pilot – now he trains Ukrainian fighter aces[/caption]

AlamyUkraine’s air force have been fighting the much larger Russian military[/caption]

ReutersUkrainian pilots have been key in battling back Russia – stopping them gaining air superiority[/caption]

ReutersThe smouldering remains of a Russian fighter jet shot down in Ukraine[/caption]

The former stunt pilot delivers extensive training for pilots to learn to withstand intense G force and learn how to safely fly low enough to avoid Russian detection.

Yesterday marked two years since Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s pilots and fighter jets have been key in the battle for the skies – with Kyiv claiming Putin has lost more than 300 planes.

But since the start of the war Ukraine’s defence has relied heavily upon Western support to defeat the much larger and more well-armed Russia.

Tim echoed calls from across Ukraine as he urged the West to provide more arms and planes so they can finish the job and beat Putin.

He told of how he has heroically left his wife and children so can train Ukraine’s next generation of pilots – describing how he hasn’t had a full night’s sleep for a full year.

And he described how the waning support in the West is not only impacting Ukraine on the battlefield but also their morale as well.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has made desperate pleas to the US and Europe for more air defence systems to shoot down Russian missiles and drones.

He has insisted Ukraine would fight on but warned victory would only be possible if allies like the UK, Europe and America remained united behind him.

Speaking from a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Tim told The Sun: “The main feeling is that it’s getting way worse, we don’t have the right support and people are still dying.

“At the start of the war, the Russian soldiers were just silly guys who didn’t know how to fight. 

“Now they have expertise and they’ve learned and build drones and they have money for that.

“It’s that simple.”

With slowing support, fears of growing war fatigue in the West, and Russia‘s meat grinder advance on the frontline continuing, Ukraine are still desperately in need of help.

Tim warned: “The moment you say no to supplies we lose people.”

He explained that not only does the lack of Western support have a devastating impact on the war effort but it also dampens general morale.

“We can lose motivation which is hard. We don’t want to beg for help every time. We are really tired of that,” he said.

“Begging doesn’t make you feel good but if it’s a choice between begging for some support and saving lives, we will choose to save lives now.”

Tim also described his impossible struggle to both serve his country and raise his four children while the war rages on around him.

Although he doesn’t feel afraid for his own life and is “used to high portions of adrenaline” Tim fears for his children and has been forced to send them out of the country to keep them safe.

He said: “Probably it (the missiles) will not hit exactly your house, but how can you take that responsibility? 

“You need to choose either to save your relationship with your loved one or to let them stay safe, it’s not life. It’s isolation.”

Ukraine’s F-16s – could they change the war?

By Ellie Doughty

WHILE Ukraine’s stocks of ammunition, weapons and tanks have been bolstered by Western support – F-16 fighter jets are a key piece of the puzzle in their battle against Putin.

Zelesnky’s forces have a waged a very clever defence campaign – but the jets will enable them to go on the attack against Russia.

The fighter jets, which can carry key precision-guided missiles, would give Ukraine vital air cover and superiority.

Frequently when Ukrainian tanks or troops edge towards enemy lines, Russian aircraft are rapidly sent into the skies to wipe them out by dropping missiles.

Ukraine is forced to then use land-to-air missiles to keep the Russian rockets at bay.

A fleet of F-16 jets could provide vital air cover for Zelensky’s army that would even the playing field.

They are also more advanced than what Ukraine has now and would help them catch up to some of Russia’s high-power radars and advanced missile jets.

And Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said “the sooner the better” .

Although plenty of countries have pledged to send Ukraine F-16 jets – including the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway, they likely wont get there until June.

To see his family Tim must travel for many hours and with the strict restrictions in place he likened it to travelling to Australia for the day.

“With these logistics, it starts to be really difficult,” Tim said.

And, due to the added pressure of running out of boots on the ground, it seems it will only get more complicated for the father to see his children.

Tim was previously stopped at the border when leaving Ukraine and told he couldn’t leave as the country was desperately trying to hold onto anyone fighting fit.

Tim said: “The boys, they need their father. It’s a time when they need their father to be a role model and bring them to society.”

The conflict doesn’t only affect Tim’s relationship with his family but it also takes a toll on his health.

He said: “I haven’t had proper sleep for one year, I’m not eating properly because I have to manage so many things.

“I have started getting some problems with my health and as a pilot, you have to be on top of your condition.”

Tim said part of the reason for the feeling of deflation is that “a lot of people are trying to avoid military service” and this is what is limiting the war effort.

He said: “It (military service) cuts off all your freedom that you had.

“It’s a shock at first, but the more conscious people get into the army the more good changes we will have inside, from inside out.”

InstagramFatkullin specialising in evasive manoeuvres when teaching combat pilots[/caption]

InstagramFatkullin was a stunt ace before the war erupted in Ukraine[/caption]

InstagramHe putting his experience to use fo the Ukrainian forces[/caption]

InstagramFatkullin told the world that Ukraine shouldn’t have to ‘beg’ for aid[/caption]

When asked if he fears death Tim said: “There are 3 types of relationship to death.

“You can run from death, you can patiently wait for it, and you can run towards it as fast as possible.

“If you choose the third option then you can feel what the ancient heroes felt and that’s the only way.” 

Putin had only expected the war to last a few weeks – but has instead found himself bogged down in the biggest European war since World War 2.

Russian forces envisioned a march towards Kyiv and to be met with waving flags but instead, they were battled back by the heroic Ukrainians.

Putin’s vicious forces tried to pillage their way across the country, killing and raping civilians – with more than 10,000 dead.

ANd some two years on the war has ground on – with it now being bogged down in the country’s far east.

Russian forces occupy less than 20 per cent of Ukraine – and are believed to have lost as many as 400,000 men.

The situation however remains fragile – and it is feared Ukraine’s valiant defence could crumble if they lose support in the West.

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