Chilling footage captures the moment a missile strikes a low-flying Russian helicopter before crashing into a field in Ukraine into a blazing inferno.
The Russian plane, apparently an Mi-35M attack helicopter, was shot down while flying very close to the ground by a MANPADS (portable air defense system).
In the short clip, which has been widely shared on social media, the helicopter can be seen hugging the ground as it flies over fields in southern Ukraine.
Suddenly it ignites after apparently being hit in the engine exhaust area at the base of the main rotor by a missile.
Footage believed to have been filmed from a drone shows the plane spinning before crashing to the ground.
The helicopter explodes in a massive fireball, sending flames and thick black smoke billowing into the sky.
Debris or possibly crew members can be seen falling from the plane after the missile hit it.
Footage from the crash scene shows the burning wreckage of the helicopter.
The Ukrainian Azov SSO Battalion claimed responsibility for shooting down the helicopter, which it said was a Russian Mi-24, although elsewhere it was reported as a Mi-35M.
He also said the helicopter was hit in the Zaporizhzhia region, just east of Kherson.
The video was geotagged to an area just inside the pro-Russian separatist region of Donetsk, on the border with Zaporizhzhia.
Posting on the Telegram messaging app, Azov’s SSO said: “Original footage of the Russian Mi-24 helicopter in the Zaporizhzhia region.
“A targeted shot from a Stinger MANPADS missile was fired by an SSO Avoz fighter under the alias of Betsyk.
“The occupiers’ helicopter in flames made an ‘unplanned’ landing in the middle of Ukrainian terrain.
“Now that’s his permanent location.”
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Post expires at 2:18pm on Tuesday June 28th, 2022