Poland has gained German approval to hand over the five MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine. “We can promise our Polish partners the delivery of five MiG-29s” said German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.
The authorization may initially be strange, but it is explained by the fact that part of the Polish MiG-29s previously belonged to Germany.
After unification, Russian aircraft flying in the East German Air Force were inherited by the Luftwaffe, which decided to keep them in service for a few years.
In 2002, however, 23 MiG-29s were transferred to the Polish Air Force, which has now agreed with Ukraine to send some of them to reinforce the country’s air defense.
According to Andrzej Duda, president of Poland, eight MiG-29s have already been sent to the Ukrainian Air Force, although there are no records of the arrival of these aircraft in Ukrainian territory.
Slovakia also confirmed that it had sent some of its 11 MiG-29s to the neighboring country, but there are reports that the aircraft would not have combat capability.
Ukraine reportedly had around 50 MiG-29 fighters in its air force when Russia invaded the country in February 2022. In addition to them, there were 32 Sukhoi Su-27s, 17 Su-25s and 12 Su-24s, according to World Air Forces, but the condition of the fleet was unknown.
According to the Oryx website, which is considered the most realistic source of losses in the conflict, 57 of these combat aircraft were reportedly destroyed. The list includes 17 MiG-29s, nine Su-27s, 16 Su-25s and 15 Su-24s, three more than reported by Flight Global.