CHILLING footage captures the moment a low-flying Russian helicopter is hit by a missile before crashing into a field in Ukraine into a blazing inferno.
The Russian plane, apparently an Mi-35M attack helicopter, was shot down while flying very close to the ground by a MANPADS (portable air defense system).
In the short clip, which has been widely shared on social media, the helicopter can be seen hugging the ground as it flies over fields in southern Ukraine.
Suddenly it ignites after apparently being hit in the engine exhaust area at the base of the main rotor by a missile.
Footage believed to have been filmed from a drone shows the plane spinning before crashing to the ground.
The helicopter explodes in a massive fireball, sending flames and thick black smoke billowing into the sky.
Debris or possibly crew members can be seen falling from the plane after the missile hit it.
Footage from the crash scene shows the burning wreckage of the helicopter.
The Ukrainian Azov SSO Battalion claimed responsibility for shooting down the helicopter, which it said was a Russian Mi-24, although elsewhere it was reported as a Mi-35M.
He also said the helicopter was hit in the Zaporizhzhia region, just east of Kherson.
The video was geotagged to an area just inside the pro-Russian separatist region of Donetsk, on the border with Zaporizhzhia.
Posting on the Telegram messaging app, Azov’s SSO said: “Original footage of the Russian Mi-24 helicopter in the Zaporizhzhia region.
“A targeted shot from a Stinger MANPADS missile was fired by an SSO Avoz fighter under the alias of Betsyk.
“The occupiers’ burning helicopter made an ‘unplanned’ landing in the middle of Ukrainian terrain.
“Now that’s his permanent location.”
Everything you need to know about the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Everything you need to know about the Russian invasion of Ukraine…
Russian helicopters have often been seen flying very low to the ground to avoid radar detection.
However, as the video shows, this can make them extremely vulnerable to both Ukrainian MANPADS and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).
FIM-92 Stingers are infrared-guided surface-to-air missiles that can be carried by an individual soldier similar to Britain’s Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAWs) or adapted to fire from a variety of ground vehicles and weapons. helicopters.
The Ukraine Weapons Tracker Twitter account, which closely followed the war, claimed that the helicopter was shot down with Igla MANPADS by the 231st Battalion in Donetsk.
The occupiers’ burning helicopter made an “unplanned” landing in the middle of the Ukrainian field
Azov SSO Battalion
However, according to aircraft and defense news site The Aviationist, the absence of a smoke trail, coupled with the speed of the missile, suggests that it may have been shot down by British short-range Starstreak MANPADS. .
The Starstreak is the fastest surface-to-air missile in the world and can travel at three times the speed of sound.
Britain’s Starstreaks were first used to devastating effect in Ukraine in April when an Mi-28N helicopter was shot down in the Lugansk region in the east of the country.
The site wrote: “The Starsteak high-velocity missile system was supplied to Ukraine by Britain last month along with a new shipment from ANLA.”
According to the Thales Group website: “Starstreak’s very unique design significantly differentiates it from other short-range air defense missiles (SHORAD).
“Designed and developed from first principles to engage fast, evasive or heavily armored pop-up targets, all in a short period of time, the system must move at exceptionally high speed.
“At the same time, it must be small and light enough to be portable on the battlefield where it may increasingly need to be deployed in urban environments.”
Earlier this month, dramatic footage captured the downing of a Russian helicopter in Donbass after being hit by a Ukrainian missile.
The remarkable clip showed the helicopter circling as it fell from the sky before bursting into flames.
It comes as Russia’s bloody war with Ukraine enters its 114th day with no clear end in sight.
Ukraine ignored a Russian ultimatum to surrender the beleaguered eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, despite Vlad’s forces controlling 80 percent of it.
Russia on Wednesday morning ordered Ukrainian forces to end their “senseless resistance and lay down their arms”, accusing Kyiv of disrupting plans to open a humanitarian corridor for civilians.
Thousands of ordinary women, children and elderly people are believed to be trapped in Sievierodonetsk, about 54 miles northwest of Lugansk, with food, clean water and electricity running out.
About 500 civilians are believed to be trapped alongside soldiers in the city’s Azot chemical plant.
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