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Protesters in Australia demand sending retired helicopters to Ukraine instead of paying for dismantling them — ABC Australia

Ukraine officially requested the aircraft but “didn’t get any reply yet,” the ambassador said.
MRH-90 Taipan helicopter
MRH-90 Taipan helicopter. Source: army.gov.au

Protesters in Australia step up pressure to send retired MRH-90 helicopters to Ukraine instead of dismantling them, ABC Australia reported.

“The Australian government, for some reason, wants us all, the taxpayers, to pay close to $2 billion to dismantle them, to bury it in Australian soil, to pollute the environment instead of helping a friend in need,” said Anton Bogdanovych, who helped organize a rally of Ukrainian supporters in Sydney on Sunday.

In September last year, the Australian Army’s MRH-90 helicopters were retired 14 months earlier than scheduled after a crash in Queensland killed four defense personnel during a training exercise. Ukraine officially requested the MRH-90s on 19 December 2023, despite the aircraft’s safety and operational concerns. “Our assessment of risk is different. We’re at war,” Bogdanovych said.

The co-chair of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, Kateryna Argyrou, said that “the Australian government, unfortunately, hasn’t communicated why those helicopters have been decommissioned and why they are being buried into the ground.”

Ukrainian Ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko said he’s “hoping that there’s still a possibility … because we didn’t get any reply yet.”

The disassembly process has already begun, according to ABC. 

Australia has been one of the largest non-NATO contributors to boost Ukrainian defense capabilities against Russian invasion. In particular, Australia has provided Ukraine with 120 Bushmaster vehicles and other support.

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