Zimbabwe is getting an ‘air lift’ from Russia that will boost the country’s emergency services and tourism. Zimbabwe received 18 helicopters from Russian company Rostec as part of a public-private partnership between the two countries.
The helicopters were delivered to Harare, but by the end of next year Zimbabwe will have a total of 32 Russian choppers. The helicopters will be used for important tasks like medical evacuations, disaster rescue missions, and air policing. They’ll also help boost tourism by providing emergency airlift for tourists who need medical care in areas like Mana Pools and Victoria Falls.
President Mnangagwa thanked Russian President Putin for supporting Zimbabwe despite Western sanctions against both countries. Rostec’s director said some helicopters will function as air ambulances while others will serve law enforcement needs. His company has experience providing emergency airlift and medical evacuation via helicopter and is willing to train Zimbabwean operators.
The Russian director general noted Zimbabwe-Russia relations have been built over decades, with both countries now supporting each other against Western sanctions. A Zimbabwean minister pointed out the country’s economic progress goes hand-in-hand with President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement efforts, of which Russia is an important part.