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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Russian helicopter downed by Ukrainian forces

The video has received around 30 thousand likes and has been retweeted by approximately six thousand Twitter users. Although no confirmations have come from verified sources but social media users speculate that the downed helicopter is a Mil Mi-24 Hind gunship, which has been in use by the Russian forces since 1972. The Mil Mi 24 is often dubbed by the Russian forces as the “flying tank.”

As Russia’s long unabated conquest of Ukraine closes in on the capital Kyiv, it has started to face resistance. Russia started its Blitzkrieg into Ukraine from three sides. It invaded the southeast of Ukraine from the Crimean region, North from the Belarusian state, and the North East from its own territory bordering the former USSR republic.

In a recent video that has surfaced on the internet, a Russian helicopter appears to go down as it is targeted by a surface-to-air missile (SAM). In the video shared by Illia Ponomarenko, a defense reporter with the Kyiv Independent, the Russian helicopter can be seen plummeting down after being hit by the missile and explode upon impact with the ground.

The video has received around 30 thousand likes and has been retweeted by approximately six thousand Twitter users. Although no confirmations have come from verified sources but social media users speculate that the downed helicopter is a Mil Mi-24 Hind gunship, which has been in use by the Russian forces since 1972. The Mil Mi 24 is often dubbed by the Russian forces as the “flying tank.”

Read More: Russia Ukraine Conflict: The past and the future

In a bid to support the Ukrainian defense effort, many Western countries have sent in aid have imposed sanctions on Russia. In that effort, several select banks were also removed from the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) – a system for global payments used by over 11,100 financial institutions across the world.
However, these sanctions have not been very effective in reducing the Russian ingress into Ukraine.

Moreover, the Ukrainian air force offers limited deterrence against the Russian Air Force as it is largely outdated compared to the modernized Air Force of the Russian Federation. The only significant threat the Ukrainian forces have against the Russian air attacks are the limited number of Soviet-era SAM systems, including S-300PS/PT (SA-10) long-range, 2K12 ‘Kub’ (SA-6) and 9K37M ‘Buk M-1’ (SA-11) mobile medium-range and 9K330 ‘Tor’ mobile short-range systems. But these also have their limitations as they cannot be deployed close to the borders as it would leave them largely exposed to the fast ingressing ground forces. On the contrary, if the Ukrainian forces concentrate their SAMs on the rear, they risk leaving the Ukrainian troops exposed to the Russian air attacks.

Read More: Pakistan concerned over lack of diplomacy in Russia-Ukraine conflict

Thus the only workable solution for the Ukrainian forces is to rely on MANPADS (Man-Portable Air Defence System). The U.S Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on 26 February announced a new military aid package for Ukraine. He added that the package would contain “lethal defensive assistance,” which suggests the delivery of stinger missiles to Ukraine.

The delivery of Javelin (SAM), which has already proved its mettle in the Ukraine invasion, was also confirmed. The United States also authorized an aid of up to $350 million to Ukraine in their defensive efforts. Prior to this, Ukraine received a consignment of Stinger missiles from Lithuania on 13th February, the defense ministry in Kyiv confirmed.

Germany also announced to supply Ukraine with anti-tank weapons and stinger missiles, followed by Dutch, who are also expected to supply 50 Panzerfaust-3. MANPAD’s offer the only significant deterrent to the Russian forces from penetrating the Ukrainian airspace. The war has entered its ninth day, and the Russian forces continue to press the invasion, which many notable strategists speculate will have a lasting impact on the world order.