Plans by Poland and Slovakia to send Soviet-era warplanes to Ukraine look like attempts to dispose of antiquated equipment, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during his Friday press briefing.
“This is another example of how a number of NATO member states, including Poland, are raising their direct involvement in the conflict,” he announced, reacting to the recent announcements that Warsaw and Bratislava would send Soviet-designed MiG-29 warplanes to Kiev. Peskov added that it would not affect the outcome of Russia’s military operation but instead “may lead to additional suffering for Ukraine itself and its people.”
“It seems like these countries [Poland and Slovakia] are just disposing of old equipment they no longer need,” Peskov said. The MiG-29 was designed in the 1970s and entered service in the 1980s.
Warsaw’s plan to transfer four of the MiG-29 fighters to Kiev “in the next few days” was announced by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki earlier this week. This makes Poland the first NATO country to pledge warplanes to Ukraine. The country has 28 MiG-29s, but it is unclear how many of them are in working condition, as the country has sought to update its air force with US- and South Korean-made fighters.
Slovakia, also a NATO member, similarly announced on Friday that it would send 13 of its MiGs to Kiev. However, the jets were retired last year, and several reports suggested that they were mostly not in operational condition.