Russian Ka-52 helicopter shot down by Ukraine

Russia faces a humiliating strategic U-turn after a plethora of its aircraft was downed since the start of the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, a Ukrainian military expert warned.

Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun said publicly available data suggested a significant number of Ka-52 helicopters, also known as Alligators in Russia, were destroyed in Ukraine.

The aircraft is considered to be one of Moscow’s greatest assets as the most capable of its attack helicopters.

But Colonel Shtupun noted that Ukrainian forces have so far been able to easily get rid of the threat of Ka-52s with missile attacks.

Speaking to Svoboda.Ranok, said: “The Russians are not currently entering the effective range of our air defense.

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“Our soldiers have learned to shoot them down quite professionally. So the Russians are launching their attacks from afar.

“These helicopters are far less effective at a considerable distance than if they flew closer. The Russians are simply afraid now.”

Latest estimates from the British Royal Air Force suggest that of the 899 helicopters Russia deployed to Ukraine at the start of the war, only 575 are still in the air.

According to Dutch analysts, Vladimir Putin’s forces have had 115 helicopters destroyed, 100 completely while 13 were heavily damaged. Another two were captured by Ukrainian forces.

Colonel Shtupun’s comments come as Kyiv this week claimed to have carried out one of the most destructive attacks on Russian air assets since the beginning of the war.

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Special Operations Forces claimed it destroyed nine Russian helicopters at two airfields in Russia-occupied regions in a nighttime attack on targets in eastern and southern Ukraine.

It also hit military equipment, an air-defense system, ammunition warehouses and runways, a statement said.

Dozens of Russian military personnel were injured in the attack codenamed Operation Dragonfly, it said.

The airfields, in the Luhansk and Berdyansk regions, are located behind the front line.

The Russian military apparently thought that they were at a safe distance from Ukrainian attacks.

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