"Half a year ago, the Stinger anti-aircraft defense systems donated by Latvia helped the Ukrainian army to delay the Russian invasion. Now, as Ukrainian soldiers counterattack in many places, our donated helicopters will help carry out military operations and save lives. Western countries' support for Ukraine must not end until it frees its entire territory from the Russian occupation forces," said Defense Minister Artis Pabriks of the move.
The donated helicopters are fairly old, but models with which Ukrainian pilots will be familiar: two Mi-17 and two Mi-2 helicopters which were delivered in partially disassembled form. Before sending them from Latvia, the helicopters were repainted, and one Mi-17 was overhauled.
Latvia has already supplied Ukraine with weapons and individual equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles, dry food rations, ammunition, anti-tank weapons and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, making it one of the largest donors to Ukraine on a per capita basis.
Latvia is also one of the members of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group, which is committed to helping Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression.
As previously reported by LSM, Latvia is in the process of replacing its own helicopter fleet with more modern models.
The Ministry of Defense also confirmed that, in accordance with the decision of the extraordinary meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on July 28, Latvia has delivered to Ukraine six self-propelled howitzers of the type M109A5Oe and the necessary ammunition for their use.
Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defense of Ukraine, expressed his appreciation for the delivery on Twitter, saying the howitzers received from Latvia are already showing results on the battlefield.
6 more M109 howitzers that have recently arrived in 🇺🇦 from 🇱🇻 are already showing results on the battlefield. I‘m sincerely grateful to my 🇱🇻 colleague @Pabriks & the people of Latvia for their unwavering support.— Oleksii Reznikov (@oleksiireznikov) August 15, 2022
Together we will win! pic.twitter.com/t5F3n7parJ
The M109A5Oe self-propelled howitzer has a firing range of 22 kilometers with standard ammunition, while with improved ammunition the firing range is 30 kilometers.