WorldNetDaily has learned that Russian “mercenary” pilots are flying
advanced fighter jets for Ethiopia in its conflict with Eritrea.

The report follows the confirmation that an Ethiopian Su-27 Flanker
destroyed an Eritrea MiG-29 Fulcrum.

“There are a lot of Russian advisers who are active,” responded
Eritrea Embassy spokesperson Vicky Rentmeesters. “They are not just
sitting at a desk. Our embassy in Moscow made a complaint with the
Russian Ministry of Defense, including a list of Russians working for
the Ethiopian military.”

The Eritrea embassy supplied WorldNetDaily with the

issued to Moscow,
including the names of alleged Russian military “senior specialists working in the Air Force (mainly pilots).”

The victor — the Sukhoi SU-27 NATO code name “Flanker” is considered to be one of the best strike-fighters in the world.

According to a May article published in the Russian Independent Newspaper, official Ethiopian spokesman Haile Kiros announced the first published aerial victory for the advanced Sukhoi Su-27 jet fighter. Kiros told reporters that an Ethiopian Air Force Su-27, NATO code-name “Flanker,” had shot down an Eritrean MiG-29A, NATO code-name “Fulcrum.”

Kiros alleged that the Eritrean MiG had penetrated deep into Ethiopian air space and that an air-to-air missile fired by the Sukhoi fighter downed the aircraft. Both Addis-Ababa and Moscow deny that Russians are flying combat missions.

The vanquished — the MiG-29 NATO code name “Fulcrum” is also considered to be a deadly adversary.

Eritrea accuses Moscow of supplying “specialists from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation” to the Ethiopian military and of “directly working together with Russian mercenaries.”

“The Eritrean government had through its Embassy in Moscow informed the Russian government that it has incontrovertible material evidence at hand of the direct participation of Russian senior military advisers, aircraft and helicopter pilots as well as anti-aircraft specialists and heavy artillery personnel in the large-scale offensive Ethiopia unleashed in February 1999 against Eritrea.,” said the statement.

According to the Eritrean statement issued in May to Moscow, “In the ongoing aggression against Eritrea, Russian military advisers and personnel, both in the air and on the ground are fully participating on the side of the aggressor. In December 1999, after the visit of the Ethiopian minister of defence to Moscow, the flow of more senior Russian military advisers and specialists to Ethiopia was intensified.”

The Eritrean protest statement issued to Moscow noted, “Over 70,000 Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin were cleansed and deported with the most savage violations of human rights.”

WorldNetDaily contacted the Russian Embassy, but officials there refused to comment on the Eritrean complaint.

According to Russian sources, in 1998, Ethiopia acquired eight Sukhoi Su-27 Flankers and Eritrea acquired six MiG-29 fighters. The two nations have fought a long battle over control of disputed territories. The introduction of an advanced fighter such as the Su-27 into Africa could be perceived as a direct threat to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, the Suez Canal and U.S. Naval forces transiting the canal. The only other Russian client states to field the advanced Sukhoi strike-fighter are India and China.

The Su-27 Flanker is nuclear-capable and can fire several types of Russian-made supersonic, anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles such as the Yahont and the 3m82 Moskit. The Su-27 also has an extreme range. The Su-27 jet fighters stationed in Ethiopia are capable of launching strikes against Saudi oilfields or against ships in the Red Sea.

The advanced strike-fighter is also a particular favorite for Russian pilots who have performed seemingly impossible aerodynamic maneuvers in the Su-27 during air shows. Western military defense officials are concerned that U.S. military aircraft would not be able to defend against the advanced AA-11 “Archer” missile that arms the Su-27.

This is not the first allegation of paid Russian military volunteers serving in the armed forces of other countries closely allied with Russia. In April,

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R. Calif., submitted a
bill, designed to halt the Russian missile sales to China,
called the “Russian Anti-Ship Missile Nonproliferation Act.”

The House legislation contains previously unreleased information about the new strategic partnership between Russia and China. According to the bill, the first of two Russian-built Sovremenny-class destroyers sold to China passed by Taiwan while manned by a “mixed Russian and Chinese naval crew.”

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