Ukrainians in Australia urge Sydney to deliver retired helicopters to Kyiv

#UWC news
January 12,2024 931
Ukrainians in Australia urge Sydney to deliver retired helicopters to Kyiv

The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) has called on the Australian government to deliver a fleet of retired Taipan helicopters to Ukraine.

The Australian Defence Force has said they don’t want these helicopters anymore. But instead of recycling them and agreeing to Ukraine’s official request, the Government has decided to break them down into parts and scrap and bury them in the ground,” AFUO writes.

These 45 Taipan helicopters can change the situation and significantly strengthen Ukraine’s military position. It also will be cheaper to deliver the equipment to Ukraine than to destroy it, AFUO says.

Donating the remaining MRH-90s to Ukraine would offer a strategic payoff to Australia. Russia’s long running campaign to destabilize Europe and the Middle East, and meddle in Western politics, directly threatens Australia’s interests as a global exporter,” said Stefan Romaniw, the UWC First Vice President and Co-Chair of the AFUO in a column for Kyiv Post.

Romaniw emphasizes that delivering these helicopters is cheap but brings important strategic and political gains for Australia without burdening the government or taxpayers.

The Australian Government might want to ask some hard questions of its defense department – especially as Ukraine has requested these helicopters as aid,” Romaniw writes. 

The AFUO has raised the matter with the offices of the Minister for Defence Richard Marles and Acting Defence Minister Matt Thistlethwhaite this week.

The Ukrainian community will be rallying this Sunday, 14 January at 2pm at the Sydney Town Hall to call on the Albanese Government to reverse its decision to bury the Taipans.

Cover: Darren England/AAP

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