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​More Than 30% of Ammunition and Fuel for Ukraine Came From the Country No One Expected

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Ukrainian soldiers of the 93rd Mechanized Brigade fire from a MT-12 "Rapira" gun with likely Bulgarian-provided ammunition / Photo credit: 93rd Brigade of AFU
Ukrainian soldiers of the 93rd Mechanized Brigade fire from a MT-12 "Rapira" gun with likely Bulgarian-provided ammunition / Photo credit: 93rd Brigade of AFU

Once again about the complex logistic schemes by the USA and other Ukraine's allies for military aid supplies

German media Die Welt has published an investigation into the critically important military aid provided by Bulgaria of all countries, that helped Ukraine fight off the russian invasion forces during the first months of the all-out war.

Read more: ​For a While U.S. Has Been Delivering Weapons to Ukraine By Sea and Railway, and the Scale is Impressive

As the journalists found out, in the initial six months into the war, it was Bulgaria who provided 30% of the totality of ammunition and 40% of fuel that came from allied countries, while the Ukrainian army needed these supplies the most, Politico reports.

The transit of Bulgarian resources into Ukraine was carried out through Romanian territory and the Polish city of Rzeszów. Officially, the supplies came from the countries of the West, the total value of the goods amounted to EUR 2 billion.

Investigators noted that such large-scale assistance to Ukraine from Bulgaria was possible only due to the political will of the now-ex-Prime Minister Kiril Petkov. Because at that time, 70% of the Bulgarian population did not support helping Ukraine so as to avoid being dragged into the war, too.

These 100mm 3UBK2 HE-FRAG anti tank ammunition of Bulgarian origin were probably one of the items covertly supplied by Bulgaria
These 100mm 3UBK2 HE-FRAG anti tank ammunition of Bulgarian origin were probably one of the items covertly supplied by Bulgaria / Photo credit: 93rd Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ukraine Weapons Tracker

At the same time, the former defense minister of Bulgaria was saying there was no war in Ukraine at all on the 4th day of the russian invasion, echoing the Kremlin's narrative, which is why he lost his position.

The supplies themselves included newly made ammo and rounds manufactured at Bulgarian defense industry facilities. From outside, it looked like Western private companies were just buying new ammunition from their Bulgarian colleagues and transferring them by trucks and transport aircraft to Poland, while the official Sofia pretended not seeing this.

For that reason it looked like the Bulgarian government was giving no military aid for Ukraine. The deliveries started coming in April 2022, after Ukrainian foreign minister Kuleba's visit to Bulgaria.

The S-24 unguided rockets, revealed by the Ukrainian Air Force in July, might have come from Bulgaria, too
The S-24 unguided rockets, revealed by the Ukrainian Air Force in July, might have come from Bulgaria, too / Photo credit: Ukraine Weapons Tracker

The same April 2022, Bulgaria started delivering diesel fuel for armored vehicles as well. Paradoxically, the fuel was made by "Lukoil" plant in Bulgaria that was spared from Moscow's operational control but still had all the working supply chains.

Petkov said to Die Welt journalists that "Lukoil's" management and personnel condemned the russian invasion of Ukraine, so it was just a matter of "asking" the company to help with "redundant" product to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

That is why Bulgaria asked for the EU Commission an exemption from the oil embargo imposed on russia – to keep supplying the AFU with fuel, Die Welt states.

Fuel tanks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Fuel tanks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Open source photo

In fact, Bulgaria had all the motives to keep the real scale of aid for Ukraine in secret: russia was constantly trying to shut Bulgarian critical infrastructure down with cyberattacks. Now and then the russians succeeded, and the Bulgarians had problems with pension payments as long as all the financial systems were down. Or experienced power supply issues, as the energy systems were the target for the russian cyberattacks, too.

On the part of Defense Express, we should note that open domain had quite enough evidence that Bulgaria was providing military assistance for the Ukrainian army, although without admitting it officially. In this context, we can recall the Bulgarian anti-tank rounds for the MT-12 "Rapira" or even the T-72 tanks repaired by Bulgarian Apolo Engineering for the Armed Forces of Ukraine; or how the Ukrainian soldiers destroyed the invaders with 82mm mortar shells of Bulgarian origin.

Soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces fire 82-mm Bulgarian-made mines from a UPIK-82 mortar at russian occupiers near Bakhmut, October 2022
Soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces fire 82-mm Bulgarian-made mines from a UPIK-82 mortar at russian occupiers near Bakhmut, October 2022 / Open source photo
Read more: Where Ukraine Got Additional Su-25s If Bulgaria Denies the Supply of These Planes