ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How the Ukraine Cashed In on the Ethiopia-Eritrean War 1999

Updated on September 21, 2012
A SU-27 in Eritrea
A SU-27 in Eritrea

In late 1998, the Ukraine, formerly part of Russia, desperately needed cash, like most of Russia. At the same time, both Ethiopia and Eritrea were clashing along the border for barren and mostly useless areas based on very old Italian defined borders. Ethiopia already had Russian era aircraft-MIG 21-23, but needed pilots and spare parts. This is when the Russian company, Rosvoorouzhenie, which was already in Ethiopia, stepped in and started cashing in. Ethiopia spent over 150 million dollars buying older and surplus Russian aircraft and parts. Some 80 Russians arrived in numerous IL-76 with new radar, weapons. Rumania, a former Russian ally, provided 10 MIG 23, which increased their amount to 18 MIG 23 and 10 MIG 21 (from Israel). This initial outlay to Russia and others ran around 11 million dollars. But, seeking more advanced aircraft would cost dearly, This is where they spent 150 million dollars buying eight Russian SU-27 and attack helicopters. The SU-27's were dismantled at Krasnodar AFB, loaded into cargo planes and flown to Ethiopia. Among the 80 Russians were five former Soviet generals and 25 former Soviet pilots, all now mercenaries. That is, soldiers for money. The Russians did not care about the war.

Eritrea was a smaller country and recently formed. They too, went to Russia or the Ukraine for military hardware. This small country spent 25 million dollars for each of their eight MIG 29A. For Russia, mere surplus aircraft not being used. Of course, more money flowed to the Ukraine in pilot training contracts from Eritrea- they had no pilots capable of flying the MIG. The few selected men were sent to the Ukraine for training. Both sides frequently used Russian pilots in the cockpit during the border clashes and these pilots were very well paid to fight in a war where they could lose their life. This was an odd occurrence when on March 18, 1999, the warring nations had their airforces in the air piloted by Russian pilots! One wonders if, in Russian, they communicated with each other about the air war and how to survive it. The problem was that both countries had antiaircraft missiles on the ground. Eritrea threatened to behead any Russian pilot captured.

As the war went on, both countries requested more weapons and aircraft from the former Soviet republics, but Moscow tried not to get any more involved. Eritrea wanted more MIG 29s but the requests were rejected. They also approached Georgia and Moldava.

The Ethiopia-Eritrea war ended in June, 2000. For Eritrea, it was a good thing, they were making a last stand of sorts. For Russia, that war, that had killed over 10,000, proved to be quite lucrative. They still maintain ties with both countries.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)