Russia helicopter explodes in mid-air after Ukrainian missile attack – VIDEO

Russian helicopter explodes after Ukrainian missile attack

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Footage shared by Ukraine’s Azov SSO battalion showed the moment a Russian attack helicopter was downed in a spectacular missile strike. The helicopter, reportedly an elite Mi-35M attack helicopter, was blown out of the sky before crashing into a field in a ball of flames. Military experts claim that the helicopter was downed by a British Starstreak short-range MANPADS (man-portable air defence system), the world’s fastest surface-to-air missile.

Footage released online shows a low-flying Russian helicopter moving across a field in the Zaporizhzhia region just east of Kherson.

Russian helicopters have often been spotted flying extremely close to the ground to avoid radar detection.

However, the tactic also made the helicopter vulnerable to attack as the video shows a missile striking the Russian aircraft.

The helicopter bursts into flames and continues flying for a few seconds before crashing into a field in a blazing inferno.

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Subsequent pictures from the crash scene show the fiery wreckage of the helicopter.

While the Azoz SSO claimed the helicopter was a Russian Mi-24, experts later clarified that it was a Mi-35M.

The Mi-35M is one of the modern combat helicopters in the Russian Air Force inventory.

Posting on the messaging app Telegram, the Azov SSO said: “Original footage of the Russian Mi-24 helicopter in the Zaporizhzhia region.

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“Aimed shot by a missile from the Stinger MANPADS was fired by an SSO Avoz fighter under the pseudonym Betsyk.

“The burning helicopter of the occupiers made an ‘unplanned’ landing right in the middle of the Ukrainian field.

“Now it is his permanent location.”

Experts from the aircraft and defence news site The Aviationist claim that the Ukrainian troops used British Starstreak short-range MANPADS, due to the lack of trailing smoke and the speed of the missile.

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The supply of British Starstreaks, which can travel at three times the speed of sound, have been key in battling Russian helicopters and planes.

This comes as the UK defence chief claimed that Russia has already “strategically lost” the war in Ukraine and is now a “more diminished power”.

The head of the UK’s armed forces Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said today that Russia was suffering heavy losses and running out of troops and advanced missiles.

Admiral Radakin said: “This is a dreadful mistake by Russia. Russia will never take control of Ukraine.

“The Russian machine is grinding away, and it’s gaining a couple of – two, three, five – kilometres every day.

“Russia has vulnerabilities because it’s running out of people, it’s running out of hi-tech missiles.

“President Putin has used about 25 percent of his army’s power to gain a tiny amount of territory and 50,000 people either dead or injured. Russia is failing.”

The latest UK Ministry of Defence intelligence briefing claimed that the war in Ukraine had “accelerated Russia’s long-term trajectory towards authoritarianism”.

The MoD added that “scepticism about the war is likely also particularly strong amongst Russia’s business elite and oligarch community”.

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