After North Macedonia confirmed it donated T-72 tanks to Ukraine late last month, reports are emerging that the country has also sent Su-25 close-air support fighters to Ukraine.
According to local news outlet MKD, North Macedonia transferred four Su-25s to Ukraine in June, with the transfer held under wraps.
The jets are said to have been transferred through Bulgaria and Romania, the same route that was used for the hand-over of 31 T-72A tanks.
The country’s defense ministry neither confirmed nor denied the report, according to MKD, saying only that the decisions on the transfers “would be declassified and transparently published.”
The four jets that have been handed over to the Ukrainian Air Force were previously acquired from Kiev in 2001. North Macedonia had been mulling the sale of the three single-seaters and one two-seater ever since they were retired in 2004 and placed in storage.
Earlier this year, North Macedonia’s Left Party revealed that they learned from defense ministry whistleblowers that the aircraft are being repaired at the military section of the Alexander the Great airport. Back then, the party said the repairs were being carried out by Ukrainian military engineers, which indicated that this was being done to deliver them to Ukraine.
Russia has already condemned North Macedonia’s transfer of T-72 tanks to Ukraine, with Russia’s foreign affairs ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying that the donation was “a big mistake.”
North Macedonian authorities responded by stating that “North Macedonia is a sovereign state that makes its decisions independently, guided by the principles of respect for international law.”