Ukraine gets more Soviet-era weapons from NATO member — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Slovakia has donated 30 BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles and will receive German tanks as replacements, the defense minister said.

Slovakia has sent dozens of BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine in exchange for a promised delivery of armor from Germany, Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad has announced. Bratislava has a habit of sending obsolete military hardware to kyiv while receiving NATO-compatible replacements.

The two countries agreed to swap arms this summer, Nad said on social media. Slovakia is to obtain 15 overhauled Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks, along with ammunition, spare parts and training, in exchange for Soviet-era equipment it donates to Ukraine.

Now that Slovakia has fulfilled its end of the bargain, it expects German tanks to start arriving as early as next month and the deal to be done throughout 2023, the minister noted. The Leopard tanks will significantly boost Slovak capabilities and help it build a heavy mechanized brigade to NATO standards, he explained.

Nad thanked his German counterpart, Christine Lambrecht, for “excellent cooperative” in a tweet announcing the program on Tuesday.

Slovakia, which is part of Czechoslovakia, was a former Warsaw Pact member that joined NATO in 2004. It had previously sent other military hardware to Ukraine in exchange for Western replacements. In April, Prime Minister Eduard Heger announced he would donate a Soviet-era S-300 air defense system to kyiv, after the Slovak military deployed US-made Patriot missiles with help German and Dutch troops.

NATO states have been arming and training Ukrainian troops since a coup in kyiv in 2014. Aid was stepped up significantly ahead of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, which Washington and its allies say had failed been provoked.

The massive drawdown of arms and ammunition would have exhausted the stocks of the sponsoring countries. According to a New York Times report last week, 20 of NATO’s 30 members are « patted » in terms of equipment they can deliver to Kyiv.

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told Politico on Monday that supporters of his country « we have to think about how we are going to fight the battles of tomorrow » and « begin production of the necessary weapons today », claiming that this would allow Ukraine to win on the battlefield.

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