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Dramatic moment Low-flying Russian helicopter is hit by Ukrainian missile before plunging into huge fireball

CHILLING footage captures the moment a low-flying Russian helicopter is hit by a missile before plunging into a field in Ukraine in a blazing inferno.

The Russian plane, reportedly a Mi-35M attack helicopter, was shot down by a MANPADS (Man-Portable Air Defense System) while flying extremely close to the ground.

Dramatic drone footage captures the moment a Russian helicopter is shot down

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Dramatic drone footage captures the moment a Russian helicopter is shot down
The helicopter crashed in a massive fireball after being hit by a missile

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The helicopter crashed in a massive fireball after being hit by a missile
The fiery aftermath of the crash in eastern Ukraine

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The fiery aftermath of the crash in eastern UkrainePhoto credit: Twitter/@UAWeapons

In the short clip, which was widely shared on social media, the helicopter can be seen hugging the ground as it flies over fields in southern Ukraine.

Suddenly it bursts into flames after being hit by a missile, apparently in the engine exhaust area at the base of the main rotor.

Footage believed to have been filmed by a drone shows the plane spinning before crashing to the ground.

The helicopter explodes in a huge fireball, spewing flames and thick black smoke into the sky.

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Debris, or possibly crew members, fall from the plane after the missile hits it.

Pictures from the crash site show the burning wreckage of the helicopter.

The Azov SSO Battalion of Ukraine claimed responsibility for shooting down the helicopter, which it claimed was a Russian Mi-24, although reported elsewhere as a Mi-35M.

It also said the helicopter was hit in the Zaporizhia region east of Kherson.

The video was located in an area just inside the pro-Russian separatist region of Donetsk, on the border with Zaporizhia.

Speaking to the messaging app Telegram, the Azov SSO said: “Original footage of the Russian Mi-24 helicopter in the Zaporizhia region.

“Aimed shot of a missile from the Stinger MANPADS was fired by an SSO Avoz fighter under the pseudonym Betsyk.

“The occupier’s burning helicopter landed ‘unplanned’ in the middle of the Ukrainian field.

“Now it’s his permanent abode.”

Everything you need to know about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

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Russian helicopters have often been spotted flying ultra-low to avoid radar detection.

However, as the video shows, this can make them extremely vulnerable to both Ukrainian MANPADS and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

FIM-92 Stingers are infrared homing surface-to-air missiles that can be carried by a single soldier, similar to the British NLAW (Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons), or adapted to be fired from a variety of ground vehicles and helicopters.

Twitter account Ukraine Weapons Tracker, which has been closely following the war, claimed that the helicopter was fired upon with Igla MANPADS from the 231st Battalion in Donetsk.

The occupier’s burning helicopter landed “unplanned” in the middle of the Ukrainian field

Azov SSO Battalion

However, according to aircraft and defense news site The Aviationist, the lack of smoke plumes coupled with the missile’s speed suggests it may have been shot down by a British short-range Starstreak MANPADS.

The Starstreak is the world’s fastest surface-to-air missile, capable of traveling at three times the speed of sound.

Britain’s Starstreaks were first used in Ukraine to devastating effect in April, when a Mi-28N helicopter was shot down in the Luhansk region of the country’s east.

The site wrote: “The Starsteak high-velocity missile system was delivered to Ukraine from the UK last month, along with another batch of NLAWs.”

The crash left a huge crater on the field upon landing

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The crash left a huge crater on the field upon landingPhoto credit: Twitter/@UAWeapons
The plane was reportedly a Russian Mi-35M attack helicopter

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The plane was reportedly a Russian Mi-35M attack helicopterPhoto credit: Newsflash
It is believed to have been shot down by a British Starstreak missile defense system

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It is believed to have been shot down by a British Starstreak missile defense systemCredit: PA

According to the Thales Group website: “Starstreak’s highly unique design sets it apart significantly from other short-range air defense missiles (SHORAD).

“The system was designed and developed by the original clients to engage fast, evasive or heavily armored pop-up targets in a short period of time and must travel at exceptionally high speeds.

“At the same time, it must be small and light enough to be portable on the battlefield, where it may need to be used increasingly in urban environments.”

Earlier this month, dramatic footage showed a Russian helicopter being shot down in Donbass after being hit by a Ukrainian missile.

The remarkable clip showed the helicopter spinning in circles as it fell from the sky before bursting into flames.

It comes as Russia’s bloody war with Ukraine enters its 114th day with no clear end in sight.

Ukraine has ignored a Russian ultimatum to hand over the besieged eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, even though Vlad’s forces control 80 percent of it.

Russia on Wednesday morning ordered Ukrainian forces to stop their “pointless resistance and lay down their arms” and accused Kyiv of disrupting plans to open a humanitarian corridor to civilians.

Thousands of ordinary women, children and the elderly are said to be trapped in Sievierodonetsk, some 54 miles northwest of Luhansk, as food, clean water and electricity run out.

About 500 civilians are believed to be held along with soldiers at the city’s Azot chemical plant.

Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund

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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5578015/russian-helicopter-shot-down-ukraine-missile/ Dramatic moment Low-flying Russian helicopter is hit by Ukrainian missile before plunging into huge fireball

DevanCole

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