Russia Says Attack Helicopters Loaded With Troops Attacked Ukrainian Positions

The footage begins by showing a Russian attack helicopter being loaded with ordnance and refuelled before it can be seen spinning up its rotors and taking to the skies after a number of soldiers climb on board.

A soldier can be seen setting up an assault rifle by one of the helicopter’s windows as the helicopter flies across the sky.

The footage then cuts to what appears to be a tank exploding before the images show missiles being fired from a helicopter that then takes a base of action before the footage appears to show the helicopter returning to base.

The images were obtained from the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Tuesday, 17th January, along with a statement claiming: “Cover from the sky: the combat work of the crews of multi-purpose attack helicopters and army aviation fire support teams.

“During the special military operation, the helicopter crews of the army aviation of the Western Military District continue to carry out the tasks of destroying armoured vehicles and objects of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, escorting military columns, and delivering troops and military cargo. Provide daily air support to units.

“All flights take place at extremely low altitude.

“Requests for support from Russian motorized riflemen or tankers from the front line come several times during the day or night shift.

“Gunners of the army aviation fire support group cover helicopters from the air, observe objects and vehicles on the ground and identify enemy firing points while patrolling the area.

“Often, military personnel, risking their own lives, help evacuate civilians from liberated settlements from the front line of defence, cover them when approaching and loading on board helicopters. The fighters carry out fire impact in case of emergency situations during the evacuation of personnel from the ground. Groups change several times a day in order to perform their tasks in the sky without interruption.

“While some crews are just returning from a combat mission, others are already preparing to take off. In the take-off and landing mode, the airfield operates non-stop. Each combat mission is preceded by scrupulous pre-flight preparation.”

We have not been able to independently verify the claims or the footage.

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 328th day of the war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February 2022 and 17th January 2023, Russia had lost about 116,950 personnel, 3,121 tanks, 6,215 armoured combat vehicles, 2,104 artillery units, 441 multiple launch rocket systems, 220 air defence systems, 286 warplanes, 276 helicopters, 1,872 drones, 749 cruise missiles, 17 warships, 4,877 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 190 units of special equipment.

Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Monday that over 7,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

The OHCHR added that it believes that the actual death toll is “considerably higher” but said that it is currently hard to determine due to numerous pending reports and the inaccessibility of parts of the country where intense fighting is currently ongoing.

Turkish ombudsman Seref Malkoc has said that Russia and Ukraine have been putting together a large prisoner exchange deal they could see 1,000 prisoners swapped between the two countries.

Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom, has confirmed that the UK will send a squadron of Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Speaking to the British Parliament, he defined the military support as “the most significant package of combat power to date to accelerate Ukrainian success”.

The announcement makes the UK the first Western power to supply Ukraine with main battle tanks, with Wallace also urging Germany to allow for Leopard tanks to be supplied to Kyiv.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said that Germany should take “decisive actions” and send “all sorts of weapons” to Ukraine to help the country defend itself against Russian aggression.

Russia and Belarus have begun joint air force drills, increasing fears in Kyiv and among Ukraine’s western allies that Moscow could be pushing its ally into launching a new offensive on Ukraine.

The Norwegian authorities have said that a Russian citizen, named as Andrey Medvedev, who reportedly fought for the notorious Wagner group, a private mercenary organisation that has been operating closely with conventional Russian forces in Ukraine, has crossed into Norway and requested political asylum.