North Macedonia has reportedly delivered Т-72 tanks to Ukraine as the country continues to resist Russian aggression.
According to the North Macedonian defense ministry, the T-72s were part of the Balkan nation’s tank battalion undergoing modernization.
A 30-second video showing a convoy of military vehicles covered in tarpaulins circulated on various social media platforms last week.
The convoy was reportedly headed for Kyiv.
#Ukraine: North Macedonia 🇲🇰 decided to donate its tanks to Ukraine – this was confirmed by the country's Ministry of Defense.
Macedonia possesses ~30 T-72A tanks, with at least 8 of them known to be currently being transported to Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/VhEHoff6gw
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) July 29, 2022
The ministry explained that the decision to send T-72 tanks to embattled Ukraine was prompted by North Macedonia’s initiative to acquire modern weapons and equipment, making the Soviet-era tanks uncompetitive.
Although the number of tanks delivered was not specified, it was reported that the Macedonian Army has around 31 of the platforms.
The T-72 Tank
North Macedonia’s aging T-72 tanks belong to a family of Russian main battle tanks that entered production in 1969.
The tanks were handed over by Moscow to Skopje in 2000 during the National Liberation Army uprising under Ali Ahmeti.
Designed to overwhelm NATO and the US by force of numbers, the armored vehicles can be fitted with a 125-millimeter 2A46M cannon and a 7.62-millimeter PKT coaxial machine gun.
The T-72’s diesel engine has a hydraulically-assisted transmission that allows the vehicles to travel at a speed of up to 47 miles (75.6 kilometers) per hour, with a maximum range of 290 miles (466 kilometers)
The arrival of T-72 tanks in Ukraine was the latest in a series of donations by its allies to defend against Russia’s invasion.
Last month, Lithuania showed off a crowdfunded military drone it said will be sent to Kyiv to bolster its combat capabilities.
The US, which has made the largest donations to Ukraine since the war began on February 24, announced that it will deliver 580 Phoenix Ghost kamikaze drones to Ukraine as part of an additional security assistance package worth $270 million.