Ukraine says its pilots are in Poland picking up donated MiG-29 fighter jets. Poland isn’t commenting.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Burrell said Sunday that individual EU countries had agreed to donate Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine to help it defend itself against Russia’s invasion, and Ukraine’s parliament said Monday that Bulgaria, Poland, and Slovakia had agreed to give the country more than 70 MiG-29s and Su-25s. A Ukrainian government official told Politico Monday that Ukrainian pilots were already in Poland to start the process of taking control of the 28 MiG-29s they are expecting to be donated. (Joseph Trevithick at The Drive explains why he’s skeptical.)
“The potential transfer of older Russian-made planes to be used in combat against Russian forces could be the most significant moment yet in a wave of promised arms transfers over the past 24 hours that includes thousands of anti-armor rockets, machine guns, artillery, and other equipment,” Politico reports. But representatives from Poland and Slovakia did not respond to Politico’s request for confirmation and Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said Monday he had rejected Ukraine’s request for fighter jets.
Other Western countries have promised to send anti-tank weapons and other lethal armaments to Ukraine, including Germany and, it was announced Monday, Finland, Sweden, Australia, and Canada. “President Zelensky said: ‘Don’t give me a ride, give me ammunition,’ and that’s exactly what the Australian government has agreed to do,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Tuesday in announcing that the “overwhelming majority” Australia’s $50 million in aid will now “be in the lethal category.”