Ukrainian military shares footage claiming to show its forces shooting down Russian helicopter

Ukraine’s military has shared footage appearing to show an invading Russian combat helicopter being shot down, amid claims of several such aerial victories for Kyiv’s forces.

The clip shows an aircraft identified by one expert as a Russian Mil Mi-24 helicopter being struck by a single missile, apparently launched from the ground, immediately becoming engulfed in flames.

Crashing to the ground moments later, a vast black mushroom cloud emits from the smoldering wreckage, while a thin trail of white smoke tracing the helicopter’s final trajectory quickly expands to fill the surrounding field.

Sharing the clip, claimed by one Kyiv resident to be military operational footage, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said: “This is how the Russian occupiers are dying. This time in a helicopter. Glory to Ukraine and its defenders. Together to victory.”

Investigative journalism site bellingcat said it had geolocated the footage to a village some 20 miles north of Kyiv, called Kozarovychi, where Russian troops are reported to have been present recently.

On Friday, the New York Times reported that a base of Russian paratroopers in the village had been destroyed by Ukrainian artillery, citing local outlets.

Bridges are also said to have been destroyed just south of the village, and in nearby Irpin, where images showed Ukrainian residents crowding in the wreckage in a bid to reach safety – amid reports of heavy shelling and bombing.

People cross a destroyed bridge as they evacuate the city of Irpin

(AFP via Getty Images)

Separately, Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications claimed on Saturday that its forces had shot down four Russian helicopters over the port of Nikolaev, a transportation hub located roughly 35 miles northwest of Kherson, the first major city to have been captured by Moscow.

While Moscow’s offensive was weakening, the communications department claimed, Russian forces were preparing to resume their attack on Nikolaev – with up to 17 battalions of tactical groups claimed to be gathering nearby.

But days after the Black Sea city of Kherson was captured, hundreds of residents came out to protest on Saturday – with the gunshots fired into the air by Vladimir Putin’s occupying forces doing little to disperse the crowd.

One clip appeared to show a protester who had climbed on top of a moving Russian armored vehicle while waving the Ukrainian flag.

The sustained show of defiance came as an uneasy ceasefire agreement aimed at facilitating a civilian evacuation in the Donetsk cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha on Saturday collapsed amid reports of sustained shelling in Mariupol and its outskirts.

While local authorities said talks with Russian officials to create a humanitarian corridor were “ongoing”, local MP Dmytro Lubinets warned on Friday that the attack in Volnovakha was so intense that dead bodies lay uncollected and that there was “not any building which has not suffered from direct or collateral damage”.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015.

Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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