Russians may have deliberately damaged Slovak fighter jets, defense minister says

According to Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad, Russian experts may have purposefully interfered with the operation of MiG-29 planes built by the Soviet Union that are owned by the Slovak army.

After the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the Slovak army used MiG-29 twin-engine fighters built in the Soviet Union. They were just relocated to Ukraine.

“While they could fly, that does not always imply that they could also battle. A week prior to departure, Ukrainians arrived in Slovakia, provided replacement parts, and inspected the aircraft “When the opposition, lead by the Smer-SD party of former Prime Minister Robert Fico, strongly condemned the government for giving up the priceless aircraft, Nadi gave an explanation.

According to Nad, the failures might have been purposefully created by Russian specialists who were stationed at the Slyach air base in Slovakia up until last year.

“On the basis of our suspicions, even the police were looking into this. Slovak technicians had access to some engine parts, but Russian technicians were the only ones who possessed those parts. Only the parts that the Russians had access to have the flaws, “explained Nad.

The Defense Ministry “felt a lack of confidence in the Russian technicians in Slach as the faults kept surfacing wherever they could reach,” the minister continued, even if the probe did not establish purpose.

Former senior pilot Lt. Gen. Lyubomyr Svoboda also asserted that the Russians intentionally wrecked the aircraft.

“We took an engine from them that was supposed to work for 350 hours. And in the end, it flew only 70 hours. What can we make of this? Maybe there was poor execution, let’s call it that. I don’t know,” he said in an interview with Dányk H.

The Russian embassy in Slovakia said that Slovakia’s supply of fighter jets to Ukraine led to “an unpredictable and dangerous escalation of the conflict, for which the initiators of the decisions will be held responsible.”

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