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Imperfect Assistance: Bulgaria Begins Shipment of 100 BTR-60 APCs to Ukraine

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Bulgarian BTR-60 APC for Ukraine / Photo credit: BGNES
Bulgarian BTR-60 APC for Ukraine / Photo credit: BGNES

Immediately, a hundred APCs from Bulgaria will reinforce the Ukrainian Armed Forces after the Bulgarian parliament overrode the presidential veto

Bulgaria has started the shipment of 100 armored personnel carriers (APCs) to Ukraine. This happened after the unsuccessful attempt by the Bulgarian President Rumen Radev to block the transfer of 100 BTR-60 APCs to Ukraine and the successful overcoming of the veto by the parliament.

We are talking about BTR-60 APCs that were purchased for the internal forces over 40 years ago but were rarely used. In the photo from the Bulgarian publication BGNES, it is clearly seen that the condition of the vehicles is far from ideal.

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Bulgarian BTR-60 APC for Ukraine, Defense Express
Bulgarian BTR-60 APC for Ukraine / Photo credit: BGNES

In light of the actual condition of the vehicles, the question arises as to how to interpret Rumen Radev's position, who stated that these machines could be used for border protection and rescue operations. It's not surprising that Bulgarian parliamentarians themselves referred to the president's position as disgraceful.

While the condition of the vehicles is nearly "satisfactory," but it's essential to emphasize that their transfer is assistance, not a commercial supply. Moreover, currently, the Armed Forces of Ukraine need any weaponry and are not in a situation where they can choose.

Finally, the Ukrainian defense industry has developed serial solutions for transforming the APCs into significantly more modern vehicles that can serve as both armored personnel carriers and communication, command, and evacuation vehicles.

One option for modernizing the BTR-60 APC by the Ukrainian company, Defense Express
One option for modernizing the BTR-60 APC by the Ukrainian company

The publication also noted, "Under the agreement, the Ukrainian side will be provided with armored transport equipment with the armament available for it, as well as spare parts for its servicing."

"The ministry will look for the possibility that the transport will be financed by one of the countries participating in the Ramstein-format," Defense Minister Todor Tagarev commented.

Read more: ​In Bulgaria, Decision to Freeze Supply of BTR-60 APC to Ukraine was Called a "Shame" But There's Hope to Overcome It