Slovakia provided S-300 to Ukraine: PM
NATO is handing out more weapons to Ukraine, and this time it was Bratislava, which gave out S-300s to Ukraine in exchange for systems from the US.
Slovakia has provided Kiev with an S-300 air defense system to help Ukraine in the ongoing war, Prime Minister Eduard Heger confirmed during a visit to the Ukrainian capital.
Heger had arrived earlier Friday in Kiev with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of the donors' conference in Warsaw, which is taking place on Saturday to rally aid for Ukraine.
"I would like to confirm that #Slovakia has provided Ukraine with an air-defense system S-300. [The] Ukrainian nation is bravely defending its sovereign country and us too," Heger said on Twitter, claiming that it was their duty to act against "Russian aggression."
I would like to confirm that #Slovakia has provided #Ukraine with an air-defence system S-300. #Ukrainian nation is #bravely defending its sovereign country and us too. It is our duty to help, not to stay put and be ignorant to the loss of human lives under #Russia’s agression.— Eduard Heger (@eduardheger) April 8, 2022
Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad had said in March that his country might provide Ukraine with an S-300 air defense system, but Bratislava would only take that step if it was offered an adequate replacement on security assurances. Weeks later, NATO deployed three Patriot systems in Slovakia as part of its forces there.
The contingent in Slovakia the alliance is using to bolster its security on the eastern flank to "deter" Russia is expected to include 700 German troops, 600 Czech troops, 400 US troops, 200 Dutch troops, 100 Polish troops, and 100 Slovenian troops.
Slovakia had obtained the anti-aircraft missile systems after the disintegration of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993 after the former republic obtained them from the USSR in 1990.
The S-300 is capable of hitting various targets at distances of up to 75 kilometers, and at altitudes of up to 27 kilometers, and its primary purpose is defending military and civilian strategic facilities.
The US government has provided Ukraine with $2.3 billion in security assistance since President Joe Biden took office last January, including thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile systems.
In parallel, the European Union has agreed to send $500 million worth of arms and equipment to Kiev, and Ukraine nonetheless still urged the West to boost its military capabilities.
Roughly 70% of that aid was provided or obligated after the war in Ukraine broke out in late February.
Despite the constant aid from the West, the Ukrainian army is still suffering major defeats at the hands of the Russian armed forces.
That's not all: The United States has been providing military training to Ukrainian troops, including on how to use equipment provided by Washington itself.
NATO had made the same contribution, training "tens of thousands" of Ukrainian soldiers that are currently on the frontlines against Russia. "We have to remember that NATO allies, like the United States, but also the United Kingdom and Canada and some others... they have trained Ukrainian troops for years," alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.