Zimbabwe: A fleet of Russian helicopters for disaster management, policing

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Zimbabwe took delivery Thursday (May 18) of helicopters reportedly purchased from the Russian Federation.

The event was attended by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the chief executive of the Russian State Corporation "Rostec".

The aircrafts will be deploying for policing, wild life protection duties and disaster management.

"Zimbabwe is under sanctions, we are constrained unlike our neighbours and the rest of the world to acquire the tools we need to mitigate the impact of cyclones and disasters in our region," the head of State said.

He celebrated the handover of the equipment saying it would enhance his country’s response-capacity and enable Zimbabwe to assist neighbours such as "Malawi" and "Mozambique" that are often struck by natural disasters.

The event took place at the Robert Mugabe International airport in Harare. The Russian envoy to Zimbabwe was in attendance.

According to president Mnangagwa cooperation between countries under sanctions only makes sense.

"Zimbabwe is under sanctions, by the same people, for different reasons. Then you are told 'don’t speak to that guy who is under sanctions' when I am under sanctions. You are saying victims of sanctions should not speak to each other, what nonsense."

Ambassador Nikolai Krasilnikov was of the Emmerson Mnangagwa's opinion: "It makes us proud that in the current geopolitical situation, Russia and Zimbabwe as the all-weather friends, enhance their interaction despite threats of sanctions and challenges of the turbulent times we live through."

According to the Zimbabwean presidential communication office, of the 18 helicopters delivered 12 are air ambulances while 6 are designed for law enforcement.

The fleet will officially reach 32 by year 2025.

Additional sources • Presidential Communications Zimbabwe

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