US bids several Soviet warplanes – to Ukraine?

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Three MiG-29 aircraft (archive image). © IMAGO/MARCIN BANASZKIEWICZ/FOTONEWS

Kazakhstan has sold several decommissioned warplanes – probably to the US. Several media reports say they may send jets to Ukraine.

ASTANA – The United States has bought 81 Soviet fighter jets and bombers at auction. Ukrainian newspaper reported this Kyiv Post. The seller is Kazakhstan. Over the years, the country has been gradually replacing its aging fleet with modern aircraft, relying on Russian and Western manufacturers.

As part of this process, it was announced last October that another large batch, totaling 117 aircraft, would be sold. These include MiG-31 interceptors, MiG-27 fighter-bombers, MiG-29 fighters and Su-24 bombers in the 1970s and 1980s. The estimated purchase price is one billion tenge, which equates to around 2.1 million euros.

Kazakhstan sells fighter jets: US buys 81 Soviet-built planes at auction

The Kazakh side indicated in the offer that the aircraft were unserviceable and their modernization was considered economically impractical. Their usefulness as a source of spare parts is limited. Nevertheless, 81 of these aircraft are said to have been purchased by the US through maritime companies. This is written by a Russian news site and Ukrainian Telegram channel Insider UA. The aircraft that the US is said to have purchased include several MiG-27s, MiG-29s and Su-24s.

The reason for the acquisition was not disclosed publicly. All these planes are believed to have been used in the Ukraine war. Soon to be handed over to Kiev. The Ukrainian Armed Forces may use them to obtain spare parts or to use them as bait at airfields.

US buys 81 fighter jets from Kazakhstan: Astana hopes for better relations with West

The question remains why the state of Kazakhstan, which is actually close friends with Russia, agreed to the sale. The country has for years sought to expand ties with the global West and reduce its historical and military ties to Moscow.

Kazakhstan’s President Qassim-Jomart Tokayev visited Germany in the fall of 2023, and emphasized on the occasion that Astana “has made it clear that it complies with the sanctions regime.” This means sanctions against Russia. However, Kazakhstan’s president added that Kazakhstan is not “hostile to Russia” and values ​​”comprehensive cooperation with Russia.”

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron also visited the country recently and signed new agreements on trade, education, environment and mineral supply. Among other things, Cameron urged London to help deal with problems with Kazakh neighbor Russia. China as well as Afghanistan and Iran. (fmü)

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