The Government of Slovakia approved the transfer of MiG-29 to Ukraine
The Government of Slovakia on Friday approved the free transfer of Soviet-made MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine. Acting Prime Minister Eduard Heger reported this.
Slovakia thus became the second country to officially confirm the transfer of fighters to Ukraine. The day before, the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, announced that in the near future Kyiv will receive 4 MiG-29s, which were previously in service with this country.
When exactly the planes will be transferred has not yet been specified. Until September last year, Slovakia had 11 Soviet-made aircraft in service, the authorities announced their readiness to hand over 10 to Ukraine, one of which will be sent to a museum. Ukraine will also be given 3 fighter jets that were removed from service earlier – apparently, they are used for spare parts.
Slovakia gave up the MiG-29, having agreed on the supply of American F-16s. Before they are delivered, the country’s airspace is patrolled by planes of the Air Force of the neighboring Czech Republic.
In addition to the MiG-29, Ukraine also received the Kub anti-aircraft missile system from Slovakia.
The press secretary of the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, said that the intentions of Slovakia and Poland to deliver fighter jets to Ukraine “are reminiscent of requests to dispose of old, unnecessary equipment.” According to him, the planes “should be destroyed”, and their delivery will not change the course of hostilities.
The government of Slovakia actively supports Ukraine in the war with Russia, earlier the country supplied Kiev with Soviet S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, Zuzana 2 howitzers and other military equipment. At the same time, the government is now technically in retirement, early elections are scheduled for September, and, according to polls, success can be achieved by forces bent on curtailing support for Ukraine.
The day before, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced that Warsaw would send four combat-ready MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine in the coming days and would continue to supply such equipment in the future.
Now, according to open data, Poland has 28 MiG-29 fighters, and it follows from Duda’s words that 16 of them are in working order. The part can be put on parts or repaired.
The MiG-29 is used by the Ukrainian Air Force, before the war, according to the World Air Forces 2022 handbook, there were 51 such aircraft in Ukraine, including combat training aircraft. The Military Balance directory reported 37 such fighters. At least 18 of them are reliably known to have perished, and their wreckage was caught in photographs and videos. Real losses, taking into account damaged or destroyed airfields, may be higher.
- Ukraine has been asking for the supply of combat aircraft almost since the very beginning of the large-scale Russian invasion. Poland and Slovakia have for a long time declared the possibility of such supplies, but did not announce them officially, waiting for the initiative to be agreed with the Western allies. Washington declares that the supply of fighters is the competence of the authorities of one or another country. The USA itself has not announced its intention to supply Ukraine with combat aircraft in the foreseeable future.