**Hiding in Plain Sight, a Soviet-Era Air Defense System Arrives in Ukraine**
**Encouraged by the United States, Slovakia “donated” a bulky but effective S-300, hoping to challenge Russian domination of the skies in the war next door.**
**By Andrew Higgins, The New York Times, April 14, 2022**
**A train from Slovakia carried an air defense system made up of 48 surface-to-air missiles, four launchers and radars to guide the rockets to their targets, which in Ukraine means Russian warplanes and missiles.... the S-300 system delivered to Ukraine dated from the 1980s...Ukraine already had its own S-300 and other air defense systems, but some of these have been destroyed, leaving Russia with a large degree of freedom to hit Ukrainian targets from the air with warplanes and cruise missiles....**
**Other NATO members are already sending Ukraine bigger and better weaponry than before, including T-72 tanks and short-range air defense systems from the Czech Republic....**
**Other big items now under discussion for transport to Ukraine via Slovakia include aging MIG-29 warplanes and sophisticated, self-propelled Howitzers called Zuzana 2. Also under review is a plan for Ukraine to send hundreds of damaged tanks, some of them captured from Russian forces, across the border for repair in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland, all of which have experience fixing Soviet-made equipment....** [end quote]
It’s important that the weapons are being sent by individual countries and not by NATO. Some countries are slipping weapons to Slovakia and hiding that fact to continue fuel shipments from Russia. The Poles are trans-shipping smaller weapons, like Javelin, NLAW and Stinger missiles, which are light, portable, high-tech and relatively easy to hide in trucks passing through Polish border crossings into western Ukraine.
The defense ministry in Moscow claimed on Sunday that Russia had already destroyed the Slovak missile system when sea-launched cruise missiles hit hangar near the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro. Not to mention the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet which Ukraine said it blew up with missiles, while Russia claimed that the damage was caused by a fire.
Slovakia is a small country with a short border on Ukraine’s west side, just south of Poland. The prime minister feels that the Russians would invade Slovakia if Ukraine falls so he is enthusiastic about helping Ukraine.
All the ex-Warsaw Pact countries have living experience of being invaded by and dominated by Russians after World War 2.