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Slovak Defense Ministry confirms transfer of 13 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 17, 2023 11:57 AM 2 min read
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All 13 MiG-29 fighter jets pledged by Slovakia have been transferred to Ukraine, the Slovak Defense Ministry reported on April 17.

"The transfer was conducted by land to ensure the utmost security. We extend our immense gratitude to all parties involved, as such operations require significant effort and attention to logistical detail," Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said.

Nad added that the Soviet-era fighter jets were "unusable" for his country and therefore it was "the right thing" to provide them to Ukraine, given their use on the battlefield.

On March 17, Slovakia's Prime Minister Eduard Heger confirmed that his government had approved providing Ukraine with 13 MiG-29 fighter jets. This decision made Slovakia the second NATO member state after Poland to pledge the aircraft to Ukraine.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said during a press conference on April 14 that Poland will "gradually" transfer MiG-29 fighter jets from its arsenal to Ukraine while Poland waits for their own air fleet to be replenished by NATO aircraft.

Poland has given eight MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine so far, with plans to send six more in the coming weeks. Poland has been one of Ukraine’s top allies in terms of military aid.

The Ukrainian government has repeatedly made appeals to Western allies to provide modern fighter jets, arguing that air supremacy is necessary to aid its soldiers on the battlefield.

Critics argue that allies’ reluctance to supply F-16, Typhoon, and Dassault fighter jets and long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine will prevent Kyiv from launching a counteroffensive and liberating the rest of Ukrainian territory.

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Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in our op-ed section are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of the Kyiv Independent. When Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began almost a year ago, the issue of Ukraine’s very existence and survival came to
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