Ukraine has adopted a novel approach to military procurement with a crowdfunding campaign aimed at the world’s kazillionaires urging them to go airplane shopping. “We need your help. We need a fighter jet,” says part of the text at Whoever you are – a businessman, an IT specialist, an actor or a singer, whichever nationality you are or country you live in – you can help us to stop the terror.” The site says fighters are desperately needed to quell the aerial assault from Russia that has decimated several cities.

The Web site does acknowledge that acquiring a combat-ready fighter takes more than the ability to write big checks (about $25 million per jet). “We ask you, Philanthropist, to use your financial, organizational and political capabilities to buy and hand over a fighter jet to us,” the site implores. In fact, several countries have been willing to hand over the MiG and Sukhoi aircraft that Ukrainian Air Force pilots are checked out on but the U.S. has been against it, citing concerns about escalation of the war beyond Ukraine. 

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. Amazing video. Awful feeling to be so proud for them, yet feel so helpless too. Such a desperate situation they are in.

  2. I have already given. All American taxpayers have given a significant contribution. Im sure before this war is over America will have contributed lots of blood and lives as well.

    • I don’t see American troops on the ground in Ukraine unless Russia completely collapses internally. No major signs of that yet, though there are small cracks showing. Russia is paranoid about any troops not controlled by the Kremlin on their borders for historical reasons. Sending in any NATO troops would likely start WW III, though I’m of the opinion that WW II never really ended, but just went cold. Some argue that WW I never ended, but I digress.
      I’d love to see it happen, but I just don’t think that realpolitik will allow it.

      • Leonard Peikoff’s book The Cause of Hitler’s Germany’ is relevant to Putin’s rise and aggression, as is Stalin’s sorry history. Peikoff and John David Lewis’ book ‘Nothing Less than Victory’ cover WWII including the role of WWI in which Germany did not admit defeat so did not change its mentality and held grudges. Recall Stalin tried to take over West Berlin and acted against nearby countries.

        Rooted in emotions as a means of knowledge, Putin’s being a longing for his days as a KGB manager doing nasty things to people including terrorism, false-flag violence, etc. Eastward expansion of ‘western

    • Right You’re, Yankeeflyer. Even with the enormous costs (and in here I include millions of lives) that an eventual IIIWW would imply, russia (yes, without a capital r) will never win that conflit.

  3. “…but the U.S. has been against it, citing concerns about escalation of the war beyond Ukraine.”

    That’s a bizarre comment.
    The US is already supplying munitions including anti-tank rockets and small drones, and providing surveillance including via NATO AWACS aircraft, plus intelligence information and non-government support for hacking computer systems and for communications.

    A question has apparently been getting F-16s available to replace the Soviet-era fighters neighbouring friendly countries could provide to Ukraine, so those countries have some self-protection if Putin goes even crazier. (Several of those countries already are trained to fly F-16s.) Perhaps USAF could base more in those countries in the interim.

    There was also a concern of vulnerability of Ukrainian aircraft to Russian attack, with a still-born discussion of basing them at a key airfield in Germany – that might well be considered an escalation.

    I suggest what Ukraine needs most are medium range missiles to nail Russian troops and shoot down Russian airplanes launching cruise missiles from Russian airspace. Ukraine had success with missiles, including shooting down Russian paratroop aircraft and sinking a fancy new Russian warship.

    (NATO and associated countries should be quickly ramping up to increase production of weapons to refill inventories and speed delivery of F-16s.)