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Czech minister: Ukraine may receive remaining Czech Soviet-made helicopter gunships

by Martin Fornusek August 17, 2023 8:13 PM 2 min read
A Mi-24 helicopter flies over the Pardubice army airport during the 25th ''Aviation fair'' airshow at Pardubice airpot in Pardubice city on June 7, 2015. (Photo credit: MICHAL CIZEK/AFP via Getty Images)
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Ukraine may receive Soviet-made Mi-24V/35 helicopter gunships from Czechia's stocks as the Czech military is decommissioning them in favor of newer U.S. models, the Czech News Agency reported on Aug. 17, citing the country's defense minister.

During an address to lawmakers and military officers, Defense Minister Jana Cernochova said that the Mi-24V/35 helicopters provided excellent service, even though they have been in use longer than expected.

"Although we are giving them a symbolic farewell today, their story is not over," the minister said.

"As we all probably suspect, they can still find use there where all defense hardware is currently needed. This is also where we have provided assistance for the past few months, as we will continue to do in the future," she added, hinting at the helicopters' future service in Ukraine.

By 2023, the Czech military has 13 Mi-24V/35 helicopters in its stocks, though only 10 of them were in active use.

Prague already supplied some of its attack helicopters to Ukraine as military aid last year without specifying their number. The Oryx investigation group identified at least four of them to be in use by the Ukrainian military. In July, Prime Minister Petr Fiala promised to provide further attack helicopters to bolster Ukraine's defense.

Czechia is currently replacing the older vehicles with U.S.-made UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper gunships. Prague expects to receive 20 of them by the end of the year, both through sales and as a donation by the U.S. as an appreciation of Czechia's support for Ukraine.

Czechia to send Ukraine more attack helicopters, ammunition
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala tweeted on July 7 that his country would send Ukraine additional attack helicopters and “hundreds of thousands” rounds of large-caliber ammunition “in the coming months.”
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