North Macedonia Confirms Su-25 Transfer To Ukraine

Armenian Su-25
Credit: Armenia Ministry of Defense

North Macedonia has confirmed it has joined Poland and Slovakia in supplying Soviet-era combat aircraft to Ukraine. 

Defense Minister Slavjanka Petrovska revealed during a March 14 television interview that the tiny Balkan state provided its four Sukhoi Su-25 “Frogfoot” ground attack aircraft to Ukraine. 

She said the country’s “famous Sukhoi aircraft” were among the donations made by Skopje to Ukraine, which also included infantry weapons, ammunition, artillery equipment and tanks, she said. 

Petrovska did not say when the government made the transfer, but Google Earth’s satellite imagery suggests it may have been done in 2022.

The four aircraft had been stored outside for around a decade on a remote parking area within the military zone of Skopje’s main airport. But sometime between spring and late summer 2022, the aircraft seem to have disappeared, with several media reports around that time suggesting they had been handed to Kyiv.  

Given their length of time in outside storage, the aircraft will likely only have been used as a spares resource. 

Aircraft imagery suggests Macedonia had one two-seat and three single-seat Su-25s. They had been delivered to then-Macedonia in 2001 to repel a short-lived Albanian insurgency. 

Ukraine’s Su-25s have been used extensively to attack Russian ground positions, but a number have been lost to air defenses, reports have suggested. Ukraine has not reported aircraft losses during its more than yearlong, ongoing war with Russia. 

Poland and Slovakia are supplying MiG-29 Fulcrum combat aircraft, which will be backfilled by Western-built aircraft. In Poland’s case, this will include Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50s and Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Slovakia has Lockheed Martin Block 70 F-16s on order.

Tony Osborne

Based in London, Tony covers European defense programs. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2012, Tony was at Shephard Media Group where he was deputy editor for Rotorhub and Defence Helicopter magazines.