Czechia/Ukraine – In an article published on Tuesday, the Czech website Echo24 confirmed the rumours that had been circulating for several days about the delivery of non-modernised Soviet-made BVP (BMP-1) infantry combat vehicles and T-72 tanks to Ukraine. The delivery of such equipment by Czechia has also been confirmed by photos and videos published on Tuesday on the social media app Telegram.
Several dozen T-72 tanks sent to Ukraine
According to Echo24, the Czech army has 90 T-72 tanks, 30 of which have been modernised for its current needs, which would mean that up to 60 non-modernised tanks could have been handed over to the Ukrainian army last Monday to help it face the Russian army’s invasion, which also has the same kind of equipment. The Czech army’s general staff did not wish to comment on the matter, however. Czechia, Poland, and Hungary still have a significant number of tanks of this type. For example, Poland still has over 1,100 BMP-1s and about 300 T-72s.
The sending of tanks and armoured vehicles was probably not supposed to be publicised, but their transport by train could hardly be hidden from the public, and MP Ondřej Benešík, deputy chairman of the Christian Democratic Party KDU-ČSL, tweeted on Tuesday: “Deliveries of Czech BVP armoured vehicles and T-72 tanks have been reported.
Defence Minister Jana Černochová deserves high praise, as this is what the hard-fighting Ukrainian army really needs right now. I believe we can continue these deliveries.”
The equipment sent to Ukraine is old but ready for use on the battlefield
In the article published by Echo24, military security expert Lukáš Visingr explained how valuable supplying this old military equipment can be:
“The T-72 tanks of the M1 version are old, but this is paradoxically an advantage, because the Ukrainians know how to control them and can handle all the systems. They don’t need to retrain.
(…) If we were to send in modern technology, it would take at least days of practice, and more likely weeks or months. And they don’t have time now.”