09:38 20 Oct 2023

United to win: Croatia lends Mi-8 helicopters to aid Ukraine

Croatia handed over its Mi-8 helicopters to Ukraine – this information was confirmed by the US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin and the Croatian Minister of Defense Mario Banožić.

This is stated in the US Ministry of Defense transcript.

The transfer of Mi-8 helicopters was announced during a meeting between Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banožić and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon.

Austin thanked Croatia for their support of Ukraine and emphasized the importance of this contribution. He noted that this support included Mi-8 helicopters and other military equipment.

"We appreciate Croatia's strong commitment to helping Ukraine, and we see it in your numerous donations of military equipment, including all of your Mi-8 helicopters and the forward deployment of your forces in NATO battle groups in Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary, as well as in your donations to humanitarian help. And all this is of real importance in Ukraine's struggle for freedom," the Pentagon press service quotes Austin as saying.

Austin also commended Croatia for its progress over the past 30 years since the country overcame the effects of war in the 1990s. He noted the importance of hard work and reasonable policies that helped achieve this progress.

Minister Mario Banožić added that this support of Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression indicates readiness to put aside differences and direct efforts to the future. He also emphasized the importance of leadership and joint efforts for future generations.

For reference:

The Mi-8 helicopter is one of the most massive. A total of more than 12,000 units of this equipment were produced. The Soviet multipurpose helicopter was developed in the 1960s. It can perform various combat tasks depending on the configuration – from transporting cargo and personnel to participating in assault operations. Instead of Mi-8s transferred to Ukraine, Croatia will receive Black Hawk helicopters from the USA. The Mi-8 helicopter holds the world record for the number of modifications.

At the end of last year, the Croatian government finally decided to hand over 14 of its Soviet-made Mi-8 helicopters to the Ukrainian troops. Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banožić stated that the helicopters would soon be sent to Ukraine, but the equipment's exact delivery terms were not known.

As reported, in May, 9 Mi-8 helicopters, which the Croatian government decided to send last year, arrived on the territory of Ukraine from Zagreb. At that time, helicopters did not seem to transport, but they flew from Croatia via Poland. The first batch of Mi-8 was sent to our country on May 5. And five more such aircraft were expected shortly. They were supposed to arrive by land.

In addition, Croatia will help Ukraine with demining. Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yulia Svyridenko and Prime Minister of Croatia Andriy Plenkovych signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of demining.

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