Slovenia has sent rifles, ammunition and helmets to Ukraine, Defence Minister Matej Tonin announced Monday, adding that aid had already been dispatched aboard “several aircraft” without revealing the exact quantities.
The donated rifles are Kalashnikovs that the Slovenian Armed Forces had used before receiving newer equipment and which have been set aside as a strategic reserve. The shipment has been sent via a hub in Poland.
Tonin said it was essential that the aid arrive immediately. “Every day is important. Every day that Ukraine endures raises the chances for peace talks […] and the price of the war for Putin,” he said.
In this phase of the Russian attack, Ukraine needs anti-aircraft and antitank weapons and substantial quantities of personal equipment such as rifles, helmets, bulletproof vests, etc.
In mid-February, before the Russian invasion, the government sent sleeping bags, rubber boots, diesel generators, gloves and face masks to Ukraine, a package worth some €163,000 that critics in Slovenia dismissed as a token gesture given the scale of the country’s needs. At the time, a weapons shipment was ruled out.