Ukrainian troops have shot down four Russian helicopters today in just 18 minutes, in yet another blow to Vladimir Putin ‘s ailing war efforts. Kyiv ‘s Ministry of Defence and Air Force both confirmed the downing of the aircraft on its social media pages, celebrating a ‘productive morning, Ukrainian style’.
The helicopters – presumed to be Soviet-era KA-52 models – were taken down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile units in Southern Ukraine, where Kyiv’s forces have been making gains into territory illegally occupied by Russian forces.
Kyiv’s Ministry of Defence and Air Force both confirmed the downing of the aircraft on its social media pages, celebrating a ‘productive morning, Ukrainian style’. Pictured: An illustration posted by Kyiv’s Ministry of Defence on Wednesday announcing the strikes
The flurry of successful strikes came between 8.40am to 8.58am local time this morning, Ukraine’s Air Force confirmed.
According to the military, units were targeting two more helicopters in the region around the same time, so the number of destroyed aircraft could even increase.
‘From 8:40 a.m. to 8.58 On October 12, in the south of Ukraine, anti-aircraft missile units of the Air Force destroyed at least four enemy attack helicopters (probably Ka-52), which were providing fire support to the ground occupation troops in the southern direction,’ the Air Force said in a post to its Telegram channel.
‘According to preliminary data, one helicopter fell on the territory freed from militants, the rest – behind the [Russian] front line.
‘Combat work was carried out on two more helicopters, so there is a high probability that the number of confirmed downed helicopters will increase! Glory to Ukraine! Death to the racist occupiers!’ the post added.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence celebrated the destruction of the KA-52 ‘Alligators’ – a two-seat variant of the Soviet-era KA-50.
‘Productive morning, Ukrainian style. Today, in just 18 minutes, service members of #UAarmy shot down 4 Russian helicopters that were spoiling beautiful autumn skies in the south of Ukraine,’ the post said.
‘No place for Alligators here. The local climate is hostile towards them,’ it added.
According to the latest estimates from the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Russia had already lost 235 helicopters before the four were destroyed today.
The helicopters, presumed to be Soviet-era KA-52 models – were taken down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile units in Southern Ukraine, where Kyiv’s forces have been making gains into previously occupied Russia territory. Pictured: A Russian Ka-52 helicopter gunship is seen in the field after a forced landing outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022 (file photo)
In addition, it says Russia has 63,380 personnel, 2,505 tanks, 5,181 armoured combat vehicles, 1,507 artillery units, 355 multiple launch rocket systems, 182 air defence systems, 268 warplanes, 1,129 drones, 315 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 3,927 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 136 units of special equipment.
The destruction of the helicopters came on Wednesday as Ukraine said it had reclaimed more territory from Russia in the south.
Kyiv also welcomed the delivery of Western air defence systems that Kyiv said would usher in a ‘new era’ after mass strikes from Moscow.
For three days now, Russia has pummelled Ukraine with missiles, damaging energy facilities nationwide and killing civilians, in attacks that President Vladimir Putin said were retaliation for a deadly explosion at the Crimea bridge.
Russia’s FSB security service said Wednesday it detained eight suspects over the blast that ripped through the road and rail bridge connecting Crimea to Russia.
But it also claimed to have foiled two more attacks that Ukrainian special services allegedly planned to carry out on Russian territory.
Putin has vowed a ‘severe’ response to any further attack on Russia and what Moscow considers to be its territory, including the Crimea peninsula that it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Kyiv has neither confirmed nor denied it attacked the bridge, a vital transport link and matter of pride for Putin, who personally inaugurated the structure in 2018.
Pictured: Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence celebrated the destruction of the KA-52 ‘Alligators’ – a two-seat variant of the Soviet-era KA-50 – in a post on Twitter. ‘No place for Alligators here. The local climate is hostile towards them,’ the post said
A Russian Ka-52 ‘Alligator’ attack helicopter flies near a heavily damaged building during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the town of Popasna in the Luhansk Region, Ukraine June 2, 2022
Despite warnings from the Kremlin, Kyiv has vowed to retake the peninsula as well as four regions in Ukraine’s east and south that Moscow says are now part of Russia.
Kyiv said Wednesday that it had retaken five more settlements in the southern region of Kherson – one of the four territories Moscow said it annexed in late September – in the latest setback for Russia’s campaign.
‘Ukrainian armed forces have liberated five more settlements in Beryslav district (of Kherson region): Novovasylivka, Novogrygorivka, Nova Kamyanka, Tryfonivka, Chervone,’ the presidency said in its daily report.
It added, however, that Russian forces were striking back and had continued shelling Ukraine’s positions ‘along the entire contact line’.
The Ukrainian army announced its counteroffensive in the south in late August.
After regaining almost full control of the northeastern region of Kharkiv, the Ukrainian forces recently claimed more gains on the eastern and southern fronts.
Faced with mounting setbacks since September, the Russian president announced the mobilisation of hundreds of thousands of reservists to join the fighting in Ukraine.
With the Crimea bridge blast, Russia also lost a vital transport link for moving military equipment for Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine.
A driver walks near his burned car after Russian military strike, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in central Kyiv, Ukraine October 10, 2022
Flame and smoke rise from the Crimean Bridge connecting Russian mainland and the Crimean peninsula over the Kerch Strait, in Kerch, Crimea, October 8, 2022
After two days of Russian nationwide strikes that especially targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leaving villages and towns without power and hot water, Ukraine said it has started receiving anti-aircraft defence systems from its Western allies.
‘A new era of air defence has begun in Ukraine,’ Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Twitter, announcing the arrival of Germany’s Iris-Ts and the upcoming delivery of NASAMS from Washington.
‘This is only the beginning,’ Reznikov added, ‘And we need more… There is a moral imperative to protect the sky over Ukraine in order to save our people’.
On Tuesday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the G7 club of wealthy nations to help Kyiv create an ‘air shield’, warning that Russia ‘still has room for further escalation.
Ukrainian officials announced Tuesday the recovery of the remains of dozens of civilians found at mass burial sites in two towns in the eastern Donetsk region recently recaptured from Moscow’s forces.
In Lyman, a railway hub retaken by Ukraine in early October, a forensic team dressed in protective gear was exhuming dozens of bodies, an AFP journalist saw.
‘We have already found more than 50 bodies of both soldiers and civilians. We have one long trench – a mass grave – where we discovered bodies and body parts,’ regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.
Russian forces have been accused of numerous abuses – torture, rape, extrajudicial executions – in Ukraine, claims Moscow has repeatedly denied.
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