GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger calls for U.S.-enforced no-fly zone over Ukraine

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Russian fighter jets
Russian fighter jets LEONID SHCHEGLOV/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) called for the U.S. to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine to give the country's military a "fair fight" against invading Russian forces.

"The fate of #Ukraine is being decided tonight, but also the fate of the west. Declare a #NoFlyZone over Ukraine at the invitation of their sovereign govt," Kinzinger tweeted on Friday.

In addition to serving in Congress, Kinzinger is a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard.

According to Politico, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked NATO to "close the skies," but as of Friday the alliance remained unwilling to take the risk.

Critics were quick to point out that Kinzinger's proposed no-fly zone would likely require the U.S. to fire on Russian aircraft, which could lead to a war between Russia and NATO.

"No. This is insane," tweeted Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), who is known for his non-interventionist views on foreign policy.

Buzz Patterson, a former U.S. Air Force pilot who ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Republican in 2019, wrote that a no-fly zone would force American pilots "to shoot down Russian aircraft" and called the proposal "the dumbest s--t I've ever heard [Kinzinger] say … And that's a pretty high bar."

In an Feb. 13 appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, Kinzinger accused Republicans who disagreed with his hawkish stance of "naivety" and "affection for authoritarianism."

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