The Russian airplanes An-124 Ruslan owned by Volga-Dnepr delivered the French multi-role helicopters Gazelle to Mali. The unloading occurred at night.
This transport was part of Serval operation in Mali, during which the French military are helping the government forces to oust rebellious Tuareg and Islamic tribes from the north of the country. Ruslan aircraft together with British transport planes C-17 are involved in carrying munitions of the 2nd Marine Infantry Regiment of the French army which is under redeployment to Africa from Auvours military base, as well as in repositioning the 5th Helicopter Regiment from the Pyrenees.
Apart from Ulyanovsk airlines, the forces redeployment is also attended by two An-124 of OAO 224th Letny Otryad (Flight Unit). This company takes airplanes on lease from the RF Ministry of Defense and is based in Migalovo airport in Tver. Let us remind you that at the end of 2010, OAO 224th Letny Otryad won the tender and was awarded a 4-year contract to transport cargoes for the benefit of the Ministry of Defense of France.