Ukraine 'downs three Russian helicopters in half an hour'

Ukraine ‘downs three Russian helicopters in half an hour’ as top spy chief warns Putin faces ‘ruin’ if his planned new military offensive fails

  • Three £12million Ka-52 attack helicopters were destroyed in Ukraine’s east
  • Paranoid Putin ‘turns against’ Wagner chief in power struggle 

Ukraine has destroyed three Russian helicopters in just half an hour, its air force has claimed.

Last night, three Ka-52 choppers became the latest casualties of Vladimir Putin’s botched invasion, with an estimated 281 Kremlin helicopters downed since the outbreak of war 11 months ago.

The £12million single-seat attack helicopter is nicknamed the Black Shark and has been described as Russia’s ‘deadliest helicopter’. 

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian spy chief has warned that if Russia’s new offensive fails, it could be the ‘ruin’ of Putin.

Ukraine has destroyed three Russian Ka-52 helicopters in just half an hour (pictured: a serviceman checks a Ka-52 attack helicopter in Luhansk this month)

The Ka-52’s battlefield management system allows it to share data with other aircraft to coordinate attack operations. 

The air force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said today: ‘For half an hour of anti-aircraft combat from 00:00 to 00:30 on January 24, units of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed three Russian Ka-52 attack helicopters in the eastern direction.’ 

Kyiv is anticipating an imminent three-pronged attack from the north in Belarus, from Russian strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east, and in the south from the Crimean peninsula.

If successful, Moscow’s troops would encircle the defending forces in the pincer movement which would drive back Ukraine after a series of advances in recent months.

But today, Vadym Skibitsky, deputy head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, told Delfi: ‘If the major Russian offensive planned for this time fails, it will be the ruin of Russia and Putin.’

Ukrainian service members ride atop an infantry fighting vehicle during offensive and assault drills in Zaporizhzhia

A soldier fires a RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launcher during exercises in Zaporizhzhia yesterday

US officials say Ukraine are planning on launching their own offensive against Russia after a stagnant winter, but have urged them to hold off until spring once they have received more weaponry.

Kyiv officials are preparing for the onslaught after winter brought a halt to the rapid change of territory control. 

Rustem Umerov, a member of Zelensky’s negotiating team, told the Daily Beast: ‘Russians are encircling us from 240 degrees, attacking from the Black Sea, from Belarus and the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.’

Fighting has already intensified in Zaporizhzhia, which had been stagnant for months, in anticipation of the assault.

Officials are expecting a pincer attack from the town and Kharkiv when Putin gives the orders for the simultaneous offensive. 

‘In the direction of Zaporizhzhia, the intensity of military activity has sharply increased,’ the official, Vladimir Rogov, said on the Telegram social media platform.

Front lines in the war have been largely frozen in place for two months despite heavy losses on both sides.

Ukrainian officials have warned that if Russia’s new offensive fails, it could be the ‘ruin’ of Putin

Western countries pledged billions of dollars in military aid last week, but have yet to respond to Kyiv’s request for hundreds of heavy battle tanks, which it says it needs to break through Russian lines and recover occupied territory.

Most defence experts say the most suitable tanks available in sufficient numbers are German-made Leopards. But Berlin has so far held back from sending them, or from committing to let allies such as Poland send them.

Germany was not blocking the re-export of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the European Union’s top diplomat said on Monday.

Meanwhile, Russian forces pounded Donetsk in Ukraine’s east. 

Ukrainian forces repelled 11 attacks, 10 of them in the Donetsk region, including in the areas of the town of Bakhmut and the village of Klishchiivka to the south, Ukraine’s military said on Tuesday.

Last week, Russia said it had captured Klishchiivka. Russian forces have been pressing for months for control of Bakhmut but with limited success.

Moscow put the chief of its military general staff, Valery Gerasimov, in direct command of the war this month in at least the third shakeup of overall leadership since the invasion.

In his first interview since taking command of the battlefield, Gerasimov stuck to Moscow’s line that its ‘special military operation’ is a form of defence against a threat from the West.

‘Our country and its armed forces are today acting against the entire collective West,’ he told the news website Argumenty i Fakty.

Source: Read Full Article