NATO Prepares For Air Battles With Russia Over UkraineSouth Front

April 5, 2023

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NATO Prepares For Air Battles With Russia Over Ukraine

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NATO Prepares For Air Battles With Russia Over Ukraine
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NATO Prepares For Air Battles With Russia Over Ukraine

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On April 3, Poland confirmed that it had transferred its MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine. The head of the Polish President’s Office for International Policy claimed that the transfer of the first batch has been completed. Earlier, Polish President announced the supply of the first four Mig-29s. The total number of aircraft prepared for Ukraine was not revealed. Warsaw reportedly has 40 MiG-29 fighters in total, of which only 29 are in operation.

At the end of March, Slovakia also sent four MiG-29s to Kiev. In total, Bratislava agreed to provide 13 fighters. The rest of the aircraft should be delivered “in the coming weeks.”

In the Kremlin, these decisions were called “the disposal of old, unnecessary equipment.”

On April 1, North Macedonia officially confirmed its decision to supply Ukraine with 12 Mi-24 attack helicopters. Up to 6 of them were reportedly upgraded including by the Israeli company Elbit Systems. The aircraft were adapted for interaction with NATO. The helicopters received new avionics, Aviators night vision system, navigation system and infrared lighting.

North Macedonia bought these helicopters from Ukraine in 2001, when Kiev was selling off old Soviet military equipment. Now Kiev is trying to get its helicopters back.

Earlier it was reported that Skopje transfers four Su-25 attack aircraft to Ukraine, which were also bought from Kiev. The aircraft have not flown since 2004. Local media reported that Ukrainian military engineers with Nazi chevrons were spotted inspecting and repairing the Su-25 at a military airfield in Northern Macedonia back in June.

In response to official requests from journalists, the Ministry of Defense of Northern Macedonia neither confirm nor deny information about the transfer of attack aircraft to Kiev.

On April 3, the speaker of the AFU Air Force Command declared that Ukrainian military already has three brigades of MiG-29 fighters and two brigades of Su-27 in service. At the same time, he noted that these are old Soviet fighters of the fourth generation, which are morally and physically outdated.

One brigade includes three squadrons of 12 aircraft each. That is, there should be about 108 fighters in 3 brigades. However, Ukrainian media reported that there are only 72 MiG-29 aircraft in Ukrainian brigades.

Thus, these brigades are likely still not complete. The Ukrainian Air Forces lost a lot of aircraft and professional pilots since the beginning of the Russian Special Military operation. Russian air defense are still intercepting Ukrainian aircraft on almost a daily basis. Without suppressing Russian air defense, what is not possible without direct involvement of NATO forces, the number of foreign aircraft sent to Ukraine does not play any significant role.

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