Russia Claims Images Show Attack Helicopters Carrying Out Combat Missions In Ukraine
Russian attack helicopters allegedly carried out combat operations in Ukraine, as these images show.
The footage apparently shows heavily armed helicopters taking to the skies before heading toward unseen targets and unleashing their ordnance.
The footage then shows at least one helicopter, with a white ‘V’ daubed on its side, returning to base and coming in to land.
The ‘V’ is one of the symbols, as well as the letters ‘Z’ and ‘O,’ that can be seen painted on Russian military vehicles taking part in the invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed in a statement (in English) that the images show “Ka-52 reconnaissance attack helicopters and Mi-8AMTSh transport attack helicopters of the Eastern MD [Military District] army aviation perform combat missions during the special military operation.”
The Russian MoD also claimed (in a separate statement in Russian): “The crews of Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters and Mi-8AMTSh Terminator attack helicopters of the army aviation of the Eastern Military District continue to successfully carry out the tasks of a special military operation on the territory of Ukraine.”
Mi-8AMTSh ‘Terminator’ attack helicopters are a special variant of the Mi-8AMT helicopter, which is more commonly used as a military transport chopper. Its weaponry is similar to that of the Mi-24 gunship and it is also equipped with more armor.
The Russian MoD also claimed in its statement in Russian: “The Ka-52 ‘Alligator’ is a helicopter for close support of troops on the battlefield, capable of attacking any targets using modern means of detection and target designation. It can solve the tasks of ensuring the security of transport columns and landing operations, as well as air cover for any offensive actions of ground units.
“The Mi-8AMTSh Terminator is a multi-purpose helicopter that can be used for landing and fire support, destroying enemy armored vehicles, transporting ammunition and other cargo, as well as for search and rescue operations and evacuation of the wounded.
“The main feature of the Mi-8AMTSh, which distinguishes it from other versions of this type of helicopter, is the armament. In addition to two 7.62-mm PKT machine guns, depending on the nature of the tasks performed, anti-tank guided missiles ‘Shturm-V’ or ‘Ataka’, units with 80-mm S-8 unguided rockets, containers with twin 23-mm guns GSh-23, hang four bombs weighing 250 kilograms or two 500 kilograms each. To protect against low-flying aircraft and helicopters, the Mi-8AMTSh uses Igla-V missiles.”
The Russian MoD statement also quotes a commander of the crew of a Ka-52 helicopter, who is named only as Alexander, as saying: “The task was set to destroy enemy armored vehicles. The crew coped with the task superbly – the armored vehicles were quickly found and destroyed.”
He is also quoted as saying: “Now the enemy is hiding more and more in forests, ravines, but we still find them.
“Every day we carry out tasks to support assault and operational-tactical aviation. Our vehicle is armed with Vikhr anti-tank missiles with a range of up to 10 kilometers.
“The system allows you to find and destroy enemy targets under any weather conditions,” said Denis, navigator-operator of the crew of the Mi-8AMTSh helicopter. – We must always cover our own, help them. They work, and we cover them.”
We have not been able to independently verify the claims or the footage.
There are currently five military districts – which act as administrative divisions for the Russian Armed Forces – in Russia: the Western, Central, Eastern, Southern and Northern Military Districts. The Eastern Military District’s jurisdiction is in the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia, which corresponds to the eastern part of the country. Its capital is Vladivostok.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin continues to call a “special military operation.” July 8 marks the 135th day of the invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and July 8, Russia had lost about 36,900 personnel, 1,637 tanks, 3,811 armored combat vehicles, 828 artillery units, 247 multiple launch rocket systems, 107 air defense systems, 217 warplanes, 187 helicopters, 669 drones, 155 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 2,685 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 66 units of special equipment.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia has only just begun its campaign in Ukraine and has dared the West to attempt to defeat it on the battlefield. Putin told parliamentary leaders: “Everyone should know that, by and large, we haven’t started anything yet in earnest.” He added: “The further it goes, the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us.”
Three people have been killed and another five have been injured after Russian forces fired rockets at Kharkiv, according to Ukrainian officials.
Russia’s MoD has claimed that it killed Ukrainian servicemen who were trying to raise Ukraine’s flag on the recently retaken Snake Island, but Ukraine has denied that any of its servicemen on the island were killed.
The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S.-based think tank, has said that Russia may be temporarily easing its offensive in eastern Ukraine in an “operational pause” as its forces rest before they attempt to reassemble for a new offensive.
Russian forces made no territorial gains in Ukraine on Wednesday, July 6, “for the first time in 133 days of war,” according to the Institute.
Ukraine has summoned the ambassador of Turkey, claiming that Turkey has allowed a Russian ship carrying thousands of tons of grain allegedly stolen from Ukraine to leave one of its ports. Kyiv alleges that the vessel is transporting stolen cargo amounting to 7,000 tons of grain.
The United Nations has warned of a “looming hunger catastrophe” due to Russia’s blockade on Ukrainian grain exports.
The resignation of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been met with sadness in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, most notably by Volodymyr Zelensky, who said that Johnson has been a “true friend of Ukraine”. But Moscow reacted with delight at the demise of the British Prime Minister, with a Kremlin spokesperson saying: “He doesn’t like us. We don’t like him either.”
The Russian parliament is rushing through two new bills to impose strict controls on the country’s economy and require that businesses supply the armed forces.
The United Nations has said that nearly 9 million people have now left Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova has said that the country is investigating over 21,000 Russian war crimes committed since the beginning of the invasion.
Kazakhstan’s President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has called for a diversification of the country’s oil routes, a day after court in Russia suspended operations on a major export pipeline.
The Russian court ordered the suspension of Kazakh oil exports to the West for a month. Russia controls the Novorossiisk Black Sea oil terminal where tankers are loaded with oil that transits, via a pipeline, from Kazakhstan’s Tengiz oilfield. Western sanctions have restricted Russia’s oil and gas exports, increasing demand for producers like Kazakhstan.
But the President of Kazakhstan has refused to recognize the pro-Russian separatist and so-called People’s Republic of Donetsk and the People’s Republic of Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, and has also indicated that Kazakhstan could increase its oil exports to the European Union.