This is the incredible moment the Ukrainian Armed Forces blasted a Russian attack helicopter from the sky, sending it crashing to the ground.
In the latest humiliation for Vladimir Putin and his generals, video taken from the ground shows the downed Russian Ka-52 Alligator on the battlefield near Robotyne in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region.
A second, not seen in the clip, was also reportedly shot in the same area.
Dramatic war footage shows the Ka-52 flying with another helicopter over the area, when without warning it bursts into a ball of black smoke.
The damage appears so severe that the helicopter does not attempt to stay aloft, but instantly plummets to the ground at high speed as a piece of the plane flies off in another direction.
This is the incredible moment the Ukrainian armed forces blew a Russian attack helicopter from the sky, sending it crashing to the ground
Pictured: A thick plume of smoke rises into the sky after the helicopter hits the ground
The camera follows it to the ground where it falls below a treeline.
After a split second delay, a huge ball of fire is seen erupting from where it landed, before thicker black smoke is seen rising into the sky.
Seeing the fate of his fellow airmen, the pilot of the two other helicopters flies away at high speed to get out of the danger zone.
The fate of the pilot of the first helicopter was unclear.
It was unclear if the other helicopter seen in the first clip was the same second helicopter that was later shot down by Ukrainian forces.
Another clip appears to confirm that one of them was shot down with a portable air defense missile system, fired by Ukraine’s 47th Mechanized Brigade.
In the second clip, black smoke was seen rising from the downed helicopter after it crashed into the terrain.
A video carries a voice saying “We got it, we got it….” followed by swearing.
Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk claimed a second near the blitzkrieg town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.
He posted: “One less Russian Ka-52 on the Bakhmut front this morning.
“Thank you Air Force Air Defense Unit for a successful combat operation.”
The Ka-52 is touted by the Kremlin as “the best combat helicopter in the world”, and it caused headaches in Ukraine at the start of the war.
However, Kyiv forces quickly adapted and have since claimed to have fired many from the sky, with a number of clips showing their destruction.
According to the military blog Oryxwhich counts Russian and Ukrainian losses based on visual confirmation, Moscow has lost 41 of its Ka52s since February 2022.
The helicopters cost £12.5million.
Pictured: Smoke is seen rising from the wreckage of the helicopter after it was shot down in the area of Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia, by Ukrainian forces fighting in the area
The Ka-52 is touted by the Kremlin as “the best combat helicopter in the world”, and it caused headaches in Ukraine at the start of the war. However, kyiv’s forces quickly adapted and have since claimed to have pulled many from the skies.
Neither side has been able to gain air supremacy over the other during the 18-month war, as both Ukraine and Russia have strong air defenses.
Ukraine has pleaded with Western countries to send F-16 fighter jets to help it continue its ongoing counter-offensive against the invaders.
On Friday, the Dutch Defense Minister announced that the United States had given the country permission to deliver the fighter jets to kyiv.
The decision represents a major win for kyiv, although the fighter jets will not have an immediate impact on the nearly 18-month war.
“I welcome the American decision to pave the way for the delivery of F-16 aircraft to Ukraine. This allows us to follow the training of Ukrainian pilots,” Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said in a message. on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“We remain in close contact with our European partners to decide on the next steps.”
Ukraine has long advocated for the sophisticated fighter to give it an edge in combat. He recently launched a long-awaited counter-offensive against Kremlin forces without air cover, placing his troops at the mercy of Russian air force and artillery.
Besides delivering fighter jets, Ukraine’s allies must also train their pilots. Washington says the F-16s, like the advanced American Abrams tanks, will be crucial in the long run as kyiv takes on Russia.
The Netherlands is part of a Western coalition that also includes Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom who have committed to July to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s.
Washington must give its blessing because the planes are made in the United States.
Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said in a post on X that US permission to send F-16s to Ukraine “marks an important step” in Ukraine’s defense.
It was not immediately clear when the first F-16s might be delivered to Ukraine.
Pictured: Another clip appears to show the moment the Russian helicopter was shot down
In addition to the Netherlands, Denmark said in June that training for Ukrainian pilots had started and the country was considering delivering jets to kyiv.
However, the pilots will need six to eight months of training before any donation of aircraft can materialize.
In a statement to Danish media, Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said the government had repeatedly said a donation was “a natural step after training”.
Meanwhile, Russian air defenses have halted drone attacks on central Moscow and on the country’s ships in the Black Sea, officials said Friday, blaming the attempted strikes on Ukraine.
Defense systems shot down a Ukrainian drone over central Moscow on Friday morning and fragments fell on an exhibition center, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
He said the drone was shot down around 4 a.m. (0100 GMT) and there were no injuries or fires caused by the fragments.
However, flights were briefly suspended at Moscow’s four main airports.
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said some of the fragments fell on the grounds of the Expocentre, an exhibition complex adjacent to the Moscow City shopping and office complex that was hit twice by drones during the last month.
Pictured: A Russian Ka-52 Alligator helicopter is seen in 2017 (file photo)
The area is about 2.5 miles west of the Kremlin. The Defense Ministry called the latest incident “a new terrorist attack by the kyiv regime”.
Naval forces also destroyed a Ukrainian maritime drone that attempted to attack Russian ships on Thursday evening in the Black Sea, about 240 km southwest of Sevastopol, the ministry said.
The drone was shot down by a patrol boat and a corvette, he said.
It was not possible to verify the claims.