US Reporter

The Risks of Implementing a No-Fly Zone Over Ukraine

Photo: BBC

Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine have caused locals to flee from their homes to seek refuge. 

“The Ukrainian people are desperately asking for the West to protect our sky. We are asking for a no-fly zone,” said a Ukrainian woman to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday. 

“Ukrainian women and Ukrainian children are in deep fear because of bombs and missiles which are coming from the sky,” said Daria Kaleniuk. 

Although Russians hit civilian residential areas and an elevating death figure, Western nations have ruled out a no-fly zone. Here’s why.

A no-fly zone is an area of airspace where particular aircraft cannot fly. The use of no-fly zones has been prevalent in protecting royal residences, as well as other sensitive areas. They can also be imposed for sporting events and gatherings considered significant enough to require this type of security measure.

A no-fly zone is used to ban aircraft entry into an airspace in a military scene, typically to avoid attacks and espionage. It has to be executed by military measures. That could be espionage, protective measures against defensive systems, or disposing of the aircraft that intrudes on the restricted area. 

A no-fly zone over Ukraine would imply that military forces—to specify, NATO forces—would participate directly with any Russian planes seen on those skies and bring them down if need be. 

However, the participation of NATO forces in bringing down Russian aircraft or equipment would likely escalate tensions.

Former US air force general Philip Breedlove said in an interview, “You don’t just say ‘that’s a no-fly zone.’ You have to enforce a no-fly zone.” 

The general, who formerly became NATO’s prime allied commander from 2013 to 2016, said even though he agrees with the request for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, it’s a highly critical decision to make.

“It’s tantamount to war. If we’re going to declare a no-fly zone, we have to take down the enemy’s capability to fire into and affect our no-fly zone.” 

UK MP Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the Defence Committee, backs a partial or total no-fly zone, urging NATO to interfere because of civilian deaths and speculated war crimes. 

But, on Monday, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general, dismissed inclusion by the alliance, saying, “We have no intention of moving into Ukraine, either on the ground or air.”

Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.